Our world oceans need to be protected from harmful pollutants that enter from industrial activities. What better place to start than with our estuaries !!!
Estuaries are central for oceans as they filter suspended sediments and other particulates before such particles enter the ocean. In order to understand whether the old log sorting facility section of the Squamish Estuary will return somewhat to its initial condition, a soil particle size analysis was needed. Conducting this analysis allowed us to know the distribution of sand, silt and clay in the area. Thus being able to predict the likelihood of whether vegetation will regrow and the potential of the presence of chemical contaminants developing at the site in the event that other industrial activities occur in the surrounding area.
To understand this myself and a few Quest University students ventured into the field to collect soil samples. We were fortunate to have a good weather conditions on our first day of data collection. The weather was lovely, 12 °C, in February and clear blue sky- perfect.
This was a successful day as we were able to make the layout for the grid that matched the GPS as well as collect samples before the high tides came in. 10 grids on our first day of data collection were made however only 7 grids which were randomly chosen and sampled in triplicates. At the end of day 1 we had approximately 40 pounds of soil samples .
Method used to collect sample were as follows.
- Measured each grid 25m by 25m using 100 ft tape measure
- Measured the midpoint of the grids
- Placed markers at these areas measured
- Walked to the midpoint, take the GPS at this site.
- Used measuring tape to measure a 10 feet distance from the midpoint- this area will be one of the 3 soil cores
- Repeated step 3 twice.
- Took and recorded the GPS for these cores measured
- Dug down to 6 inches of soil from the ground and set that soil away
- Now that we have a nice deep hole, we dug a layer of soil from that hole to get a nice sample from top to bottom thus was able to analysize the soil horizon.
- Measured 3 inches width of the soil from this layer
- Cut the 3 inches width of soil and placed it in zip locked bag