Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Lawrence D. Lemke


Urban gardening has recently gained popularity as a way to provide fresh produce and income to urban residents; however, finding suitable sites for urban gardens is challenging because of historical soil lead contamination particularly in post- industrial cities like Detroit, Michigan. Soil lead measurements from three Detroit gardens were modeled using geostatistical techniques to assess risk and alternate sampling strategies. General sampling recommendations for urban gardens were developed based on results of Monte Carlo simulations and associated risk assessment. Variograms and kriged concentration maps indicate spatial variability at scales as small as one meter, with site specific variability in spatial patterns. Sampling plans designed to detect hotspots are found to be more protective of human health than plans designed to determine a representative or global mean concentration. Additional recommendations include sampling with a grid-based design and taking more than two samples with minimal, if any, compositing of samples.