Kathy Smith is a Scientist Emeritus with the Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center.
My research examines processes that influence metal concentration, speciation, bioavailability, and mobility in low-temperature aquatic systems. My general research interests include low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, water/rock interactions, trace-element geochemistry, metal bioavailability, environmental toxicology of metals, characterization of mining wastes, leaching techniques, and sampling methodologies. My recent research topics include metal recovery from waste streams, metal sorption and transport in mined and mineralized areas, application of the biotic ligand model in mined and mineralized areas, and sampling and monitoring methods for the mine life cycle. Previous research topics include mine waste characterization, mine drainage characterization, geoenvironmental models, metal sorption onto iron oxyhydroxides, effects of fluvial tailings deposits on water quality, environmental effects of historical mining, and development of multi-disciplinary methods.
Science and Products
Predictive double-layer modeling of metal sorption in mine-drainage systems
Distribution and mobility of molybdenum in the terrestrial environment
Geochemistry of sediments from coastal marshes of Louisiana
Map showing potential metal-mine drainage hazards in Colorado, based on mineral-deposit geology
Impact of the lower Alamosa River water on alfalfa, southwestern San Luis Valley, Colorado: 1994 follow-up study
Understanding our fragile environment; Lessons from geochemical studies
Whole-rock chemical composition of some samples from two drill hole cores in the Capps coal field, Beluga coal area, south-central Alaska
Science and Products
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Predictive double-layer modeling of metal sorption in mine-drainage systemsPrevious comparison of predictive double-layer modeling and empirically derived metal-partitioning data has validated the use of the double-layer model to predict metal sorption reactions in iron-rich mine-drainage systems. The double-layer model subsequently has been used to model data collected from several mine-drainage sites in Colorado with diverse geochemistry and geology. This work demonstr
Distribution and mobility of molybdenum in the terrestrial environmentMolybdenum (Mo) is an essential element for many plants and animals (Newton and Otsuka, 1980). Because of its chemical properties, Mo readily provides sites for reactions and catalysis in biochemical systems (Haight and Boston, 1973). It is therefore important to understand the processes that control the distribution, speciation, and behavior of Mo in the surficial environment. These processes wil
Geochemistry of sediments from coastal marshes of LouisianaAs a part of the U.S. Geological Survey Global Change and Climate History Program we have been studying the biogeochemistry of coastal marshes in Terrebonne Basin, Louisiana. Louisiana has about 40 percent of the coastal wetlands in the conterminous U.S. and it is losing wetlands at one of the highest rates in the U.S. with the conversion of about 65 km2/yr of marsh to open water (Britsch and Dunb
Map showing potential metal-mine drainage hazards in Colorado, based on mineral-deposit geologyThis map, compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Colorado Geological Survey (CGS) and the U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), shows potential mine-drainage hazards that may exist in Colorado metal-mining districts, as indicated by the geologic characteristics of the mineral deposits that occur in the respective districts. It was designed to demonstrate how geologi
Impact of the lower Alamosa River water on alfalfa, southwestern San Luis Valley, Colorado: 1994 follow-up studyNo abstract available.
Understanding our fragile environment; Lessons from geochemical studiesAn understanding of our fragile environment can begin with a recognition of the importance of certain elements, commonly called "minerals substances" (such as iron and zinc), in the lives of humans and animals and in the soils that support plants. This recognition is well deserved because these elements are essential for the life or optimum health of an organism. Some elements such as carbon, hydr
Whole-rock chemical composition of some samples from two drill hole cores in the Capps coal field, Beluga coal area, south-central AlaskaWhole-rock chemical analysis was done on samples from drill cores of rocks lying atop and between coal beds in the Beluga coal area, south-central Alaska. The samples were classified as sandstone, siltstone or claystone at time of hand specimen description. Chemical data were compared to those from corresponding rocks from other sites in the conterminous United States. The study supports the follo