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Metal concentrations in seston and water in the Clark Fork River, MT

May 26, 2022

Legacy mine waste from the Clark Fork River in Western Montana has contributed 100 million tons of tailings into the watershed between 1880 and 1982 (E.D. Andrews, Longitudinal dispersion of metals in the Clark Fork River, Montana, Lewis Publishers, 1987). Tailings deposited along the floodplain, streambanks and river channel continue to contribute metal contaminated material into the river in the form of metal-enriched particulate matter or seston, comprising a mixture of organic and inorganic materials (J.N. Moore and S.N. Luoma, Hazardous wastes from large-scale metal extraction: A case study. Environmental Science and Technology, v.24:1278-1285, 1990). Metal enriched seston poses a dietary exposure risk to filter-feeding macroinvertebrates [...]