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    Estimating Background Concentrations of Inorganic Analytes from On-Site Soil Sample Data

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    At Superfund sites, regulatory agencies have commonly required that an extensive off-site study be performed to identify background concentrations of chemicals of concern in the sample medium for the purpose of establishing action levels. However, in an effort to save time and money, graphic statistics were used to estimate background concentrations of inorganic chemicals from 127 on-site soil samples collected at Andersen Air Force Base, a Superfund site on Guam. The statistical method used for this evaluation utilized probability plots, and was a modification of a technique used in mineral exploration to identify anomalous and background geochemical data. This paper provides an overview of the modified statistical method and its application at Andersen Air Force Base, and the results of the evaluation, including estimated background concentrations.


    anomalous, arithmetic, background, logarithmic, population, probability plot, statistics, soil sample, threshold value

    Author Information:

    Cook, PD
    Environmental Scientist, ICF Kaiser Engineers, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP13283S