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Toxicity and chemistry data from an evaluation of metal-contaminated sediments from the Upper Columbia River, Washington, 2013-2014

May 23, 2017

This resource contains chemistry and toxicity data from sediment toxicity tests conducted by the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center with 66 sediment samples collected from in and around the Upper Columbia River in the fall of 2013. Toxicity testing was conducted from fall 2013 through summer 2014 with the amphipod, Hyalella azteca, the midge Chironomus dilutus, and the mussel Lampsilis siliquoidea. Short-term toxicity endpoints (10-28 d) included survival, weight, and biomass of all test organisms. Long-term tests with amphipods (42 d) and midges (about 50 d) included reproduction endpoint. Sediments were analyzed for physical and chemical characteristics, including particle size distribution, total organic carbon, acid volatile sulfide, slag content, and concentrations of metals in total-recoverable and simultaneously-extracted fractions. Porewaters were separated by centrifugation and by peepers (diffusion samplers) and were analyzed for filterable metals, dissolved organic carbon, and major ions. These data are intended to be used to characterize concentration-response relationships between metals concentrations and toxicity endpoints and to estimate site-specific toxicity thresholds for select metals or metal mixtures. These hresholds will be used to evaluate risks or injuries to the benthic invertebrate community associated with exposure to contaminated sediments and to develop goals for remediation of sediments of the Upper Columbia River.