Evaluating the Presence of the Endocrine Disruptor 4-Nonylphenol in California Glaciers

Jonah Lay


The use of GIS in addressing environmental problems is evident in its application to the Sierra Nevada mountain range glaciers in California. The presence of 4-nonylphenol (4NP) in pesticides used in agriculture has led to its accumulation in California glaciers through onshore wind deposition. As an endocrine disruptor, 4NP poses a threat to human health because it can interrupt and alter physiological processes such as human development and metabolism, and lead to ovarian and prostate cancer at higher concentrations. To evaluate the mass of 4NP in the glacier, GIS analysis is conducted with considerations of wind direction, topographic features, and 4NP concentrations throughout the glacial space. This study investigates the transport, deposition, and presence of 4NP. LiDAR is used to calculate snow depth and glacier volume, and ice core sample data provided 4NP concentrations. The goal of this study is to determine the total mass concentration of 4NP by investigating the influence topographic shielding has on 4NP concentration gradients in glaciers.