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Life Sciences
Lab Report
English (U.K.)
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North Wales Dee Estuary Field and Laboratory Activity (Lab Report Sample)


North Wales Dee Estuary field and laboratory activity. Field sites visited were 
A. Prestatyn (eastern end)
B. Talacre (Point of Ayr)
C. Holywell (next to the recycling centre)
D. Flint (next to the castle)
In a group of 5 five individuals, each group sampled the following from each site visited;
1. Surface sediment sample ( it is worth qualitatively noting the grain size and organic content of sediment, since these parameters can influence the metal content of sediments, via surface area of absorption and chemical bonding.
2. Seaweeds (Fucus vesiculosus (common name bladder wrack) and Cladophora spp.
3. Other salt marsh vegetation (only for Holywell and Flint where salt marshes are located; e.g. Halimione portulacoides ( common name sea purslane).
4.l Sediment cores (only for Holywell and Flint where the sediments are cohesive enough to support coring). Note: sediments cores were sub-sampled (i.e. subdivided) into 2cm depth segments.
All samples were labelled as; group number followed by relevant letter that is assigned to each field site as listed above. the following abbreviations were used as suffixes to identify the sample type:
SS= Surface sediment
SC=Sediment core (the depth intervals also were included, e.g SC2-4 for sample between 2 and 4 cm depth in the core)
FV= Fucus vesiculosus
Cs= Cladophora spp.
HP= Halimione portulacoides
Laboratory Session #1
. Samples collected from Dee estuary and subsequently dried in an oven
. Pestle and mortar
. plastic spatula
. 50 ml centrifuge tubes and tube racks
. Access to an analytical balance
. Small beaker, in which to stand 50 ml centrifuge tubes on an analytical balance
. Concentrated HNO3 (Nitric acid) obtained from a bottle with a dispensing pipette.
. deionised water
. Ultrasonic bath
. white paper towel
1. Label one 50 ml centrifuge tube for each sediment and vegetation sample collected during the Dee estuary fieldtrip. Note: use the sample labelling notation described in the fieldwork section of the Dee estuary activity booklet.
2. Carefully grind and homogenise each of the dried sediment and vegetation samples in turn using a pestle and a mortar. Note: between samples you should ensure that the pestle and mortar is washed thoroughly with deionised water and dry them with the white papers.
3. Using a plastic spatula and analytical balance carefully weigh about 0.5 grams of ground and homogenised sediment or vegetation sample into a separate 50 ml centrifuge tubes.
4. Take the 50 ml centrifuge tubes containing the weighed samples to one of the two fume cupboards and use the bottle dispensing pipette to slowly and carefully add 5 ml of concentrated nitric acid (HNO3) to each of the samples
5. Each group should also prepare one procedural blank by adding 5 ml of concentrated HNO3 to an empty 50 ml centrifuge tube. This tube will be labelled as follows: 1Blank if group one etc.
6. Place the rack closed to 50 ml tubes containing the samples and concentrated HNO3 (including procedural blank) into the ultrasonic bath for 10 minutes. This procedure is done so that the samples are agitated within the HNO3 such that all of the particles are in contact with the concentrated HNO3. Wipe the outside of the sample tubes dry when they are removed from the ultrasonic bath.
7. Place the 50 ml centrifuge tubes, containing samples and 5 ml of concentrated HNO3, in the identified location and leave for 7 days for a cold nitric acid extraction of metals. Note: the procedure adopted will not dissolve chemically resistant silicate grains and will only take the extractable metals into solution in the concentrated HNO3.
Laboratory session #2
Each group should have the following:
. 50 ml centrifuge tubes containing ground and homogenised Dee estuary samples and 5 ml of concentrated nitric acid (HNO3)
. ICP-OES autosampler tubes
. Buchner filtration apparatus, including filter papers
. Deionised water and dispensing bottles
. 50 ml volumetric flasks
1. Label the ICP-OES autosampler tubes with labels that match the Dee estuary samples as described in the Dee estuary activity booklet
2. Take the 50 ml centrifuge tubes containing samples and 5 ml of concentrated HNO3 to a fume cupboard and add deionised water approximately to the 20 ml mark on the tubes
3. Take the sample tubes, now containing 25 ml diluted HNO3, back to the group’s laborately bench area and use the Buchner filtration apparatus to filter each sample ( including the procedural blank. In turn.
4. Once the has been filtered through the Buchner filtration apparatus pour the filtrate, using a funnel into a 50 ml volumetric flask and make up to the mark with deionised water. Hold the cap on tightly and mix the contents of the volumetric flask thoroughly.
5. Fill the labelled ICP-OES sample tubes with the diluted HNO3 extract solutions, place in a rack and submit for metal determination by ICP-OES.
6. Record all sample data on to the master Excel file.
Your report should have the following:
1. Report layout and presentation (10%)
2. Introduction (10%)
3. Summary of field and laboratory methods (10%)
4. Data synthesis, analysis, interpretation and discussion including evidence of integration with published and scientific journal articles (20%)
5. Use of supporting figures and tables (20%)
6. Consideration of other marine pollutants that could be included in a more comprehensive follow-up environmental risk assessment study (20%). What else could we have done to improve the research or the study?
7. Conclusion (10%).
The report should include statistical analysis of the metal concentration data generated by the whole class. For example, for the metal concentration data it should be possible to consider and statistically test the following questions (and any other that can be identified):
1. Are there statistically significant differences between sampling sites?
2. Are there statistically significant differences between sample types?
3. Do certain metals behave in similar (or different) ways to other metals?
4. Do certain metals and sampling sites cluster together in their behaviour?
5. Are there statistically significant differences within (i.e. between different depth/time intervals) sediment cores?
6. Are there statistically significant differences between sediment cores?


Determination of Metal Concentrations in Sediment and Plant Samples from Dee Estuary, in Order to Assess the Level of Environmental Risk Related to Environmental Pollution.
Date of Submission
Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u List of Tables PAGEREF _Toc419057104 \h 3List of Figures PAGEREF _Toc419057105 \h 4Introduction PAGEREF _Toc419057106 \h 5Objectives PAGEREF _Toc419057107 \h 6The Dee Estuary PAGEREF _Toc419057108 \h 7Field and Laboratory Methods PAGEREF _Toc419057109 \h 8Laboratory Session 1 PAGEREF _Toc419057110 \h 9Laboratory Session 2 PAGEREF _Toc419057111 \h 10Results PAGEREF _Toc419057112 \h 11Discussion PAGEREF _Toc419057113 \h 14Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc419057114 \h 17References PAGEREF _Toc419057115 \h 19
List of Tables
TOC \h \z \c "Table" Table 1: An Anova table for differences between sites and metal concentrations PAGEREF _Toc419056942 \h 9
Table 2: An Anova table for differences between Sample types and metal concentrations PAGEREF _Toc419056943 \h 10
Table 3: Descriptive Analysis for the clusters obtained from clustering metal concentrations based on site names PAGEREF _Toc419056944 \h 12
Table 4: Results from a two-sample t-test showing the difference in metal concentrations between sediment cores PAGEREF _Toc419056945 \h 12
Table 5: An Anova table for the difference between sediment cores and metal concentrations PAGEREF _Toc419056946 \h 13
List of Figures
TOC \h \z \c "Figure" Figure 1: The Dee Estuary: Retrieved from Sefton (2013). PAGEREF _Toc419056966 \h 7
Figure 2: Results obtained from the correlational analysis between different metal concentrations PAGEREF _Toc419056967 \h 12
Industrialization, globalization, social, and agricultural activities, are known to cause environmental pollution. Such activities always lead to corruption of the ecosystem, which is likely to cost the lives of future generations because pollution has an effect on human health. It is also critical that pollution not only affects humans, but also other organisms because they end up producing food from intoxicated raw materials, or ingest food that has been produced from intoxicated raw materials (Acquavita et al., 2012). It follows that pollution affects the entire food chain of an ecosystem because organisms of an ecosystem depend on each other for existence. Consequently, it is important for scholars and practitioners in ecology to understand how human activities contribute to pollution because such an understanding will help them control the rate of pollution in the topical society (Modoi et al., 2014). This will in turn reduce pollution and safeguard the environment for the benefit of future generations.
It is critical that the current society is polluting the environment at a higher rate than previous generations because of industrialization. As evidence, the contemporary society is full of industries that emit chemicals into the air and water bodies. It is notable that chemicals emitted into the air by the same industries are often washed down into water bodies by rain. Simply put, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans are at the receiving end of pollution (Njagi, 2009). It is also vital to highlight that modern agricultural activities contribute to pollution because of the use of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides to increase production. The chemicals contain heavy metal compounds, which are also washed into rivers when it rains. This implies that ecological researchers should focus on the effect of pollution on water bodies in order to limit the amount of toxic substances into the food chain (Nordberg, 2014).
It is evident that large fractions of heavy metal compounds from the environment always end up in water bodies. Crucial to the discussion is the fact that the chemicals arriv...
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