Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

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GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

The GeoHEALTH–USGS Newsletter—published since 2004—provides information on USGS science activities pertinent to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, and people from environmental exposures to contaminants and pathogens.

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Featured Science Activities

Featured Science Activities

Lean about our Featured Science Activities through our pages that highlight science studies, publications, and results.

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Filter Total Items: 3,639
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Year Published: 2019

Stream mercury export in response to contemporary timber harvesting methods (Pacific Coastal Mountains, Oregon, USA)

Land-use activities can alter hydrological and biogeochemical processes that can affect the fate, transformation, and transport of mercury (Hg). Previous studies in boreal forests have shown that forestry operations can have profound, but variable effects on Hg export and methylmercury (MeHg) formation. The Pacific Northwest is an important...

Eckley, Chris S.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Tate, Michael T.; Kowalski, Brandon M; Danehy, Robert; Johnson, Sherri L; Krabbenhoft, David P.

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Year Published: 2018

Hydrogeochemical controls on brook trout spawning habitats in a coastal stream

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) spawn in fall and overwintering egg development can benefit from stable, relatively warm temperatures in groundwater-seepage zones. However, eggs are also sensitive to dissolved oxygen concentration, which may be reduced in discharging groundwater (i.e., seepage). We investigated a 2 km reach of the coastal...

Briggs, Martin A.; Harvey, Judson W.; Hurley, Stephen T.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; McCobb, Timothy D.; Werkema, Dale D.; Lane, Jr., John W.

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Year Published: 2018

Contaminants of emerging concern in the environment: Where we have been and what does the future hold?

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring alerted the nation to the dangers of manmade chemicals and indiscriminate use of pesticides. DDT was the culprit and its use threatened a variety of wildlife, including the national bird, bald eagles. In 1969, pressured by scientists and the public, the United States banned almost all uses of DDT;...

Battaglin, William A.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Furlong, Edward T.; Glassmeyer, Susan; Blackwell, Brett R.; Corsi, Steven; Meyer, Michael T.; Bradley, Paul M.
Battaglin, W.A., Koplin, D.W., Furlong, E.T., Glassmeyer, S., Blackwell, B., Corsi, S.R., Meyer, M. T., and Bradley, P.M., 2018, Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment: Where We Have Been and What Does the Future Hold?: Water Resources IMPACT, vol. 20, no. 6, p. 8-11. https://www.awra.org/impact/

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Year Published: 2018

Reconnaissance of mixed organic and inorganic chemicals in private and public supply tapwaters at selected residential and workplace sites in the United States

Safe drinking water at the point-of-use (tapwater, TW) is a United States public health priority. Multiple lines of evidence were used to evaluate potential human health concerns of 482 organics and 19 inorganics in TW from 13 (7 public supply, 6 private well self-supply) home and 12 (public supply) workplace locations in 11 states. Only uranium (...

Bradley, Paul M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Romanok, Kristin M.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Focazio, Michael J.; Brown, Juliane B.; Cardon, Mary C.; Carpenter, Kurt; Corsi, Steven R.; DeCicco, Laura A.; Dietze, Julie E.; Evans, Nicola; Furlong, Edward T.; Givens, Carrie E.; Gray, James; Griffin, Dale W.; Higgins, Christopher P.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Journey, Celeste A.; Kuivila, Kathryn ; Masoner, Jason R.; McDonough, Carrie A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Orlando, James L.; Strynar, Mark J.; Weis, Christopher P.; Wilson, Vickie S.

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Year Published: 2018

Effect of calcium on the bioavailability of dissolved uranium(VI) in plant roots under circumneutral pH

We integrated field measurements, hydroponic experiments, microscopy, and spectroscopy to investigate the effect of Ca(II) on dissolved U(VI) uptake by plants in 1 mM HCO3– solutions at circumneutral pH. The accumulation of U in plants (3.1–21.3 mg kg–1) from the stream bank of the Rio Paguate, Jackpile Mine, New Mexico served as a motivation...

El Hayek, Eliane; Torres, Chris; Rodriguez-Freire, Lucia; Blake, Johanna M.; De Vore, Cherie L.; Brearley, Adrian J.; Spilde, Michael N.; Cabaniss, Stephen; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi S.; Cerrato, José M.

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Year Published: 2018

Concentrations of lead and other inorganic constituents in samples of raw intake and treated drinking water from the municipal water filtration plant and residential tapwater in Chicago, Illinois, and East Chicago, Indiana, July–December 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Environmental Health Mission Area (EHMA) is providing comprehensive science on sources, movement, and transformation of contaminants and pathogens in watershed and aquifer drinking-water supplies and in built water and wastewater infrastructure (referred to as the USGS Water and Wastewater Infrastructure project)...

Romanok, Kristin M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Meppelink, Shannon M.; Focazio, Michael J.; Argos, Maria; Hollingsworth, Mary E. ; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Putz, Andrea R.; Stark, Alan ; Weis, Christopher P.; Zehraoui, Abderrahman; Bradley, Paul M.
Romanok, K.M., Kolpin, D.W., Meppelink, S.M., Focazio, M.J., Argos, M., Hollingsworth, M.E., McCleskey, R.B., Putz, A.R., Stark, A., Weis, C.P., Zehraoui, A., and Bradley, P.M., 2018, Concentrations of lead and other inorganic constituents in samples of raw intake and treated drinking water from the municipal water filtration plant and residential tapwater in Chicago, Illinois, and East Chicago, Indiana, July–December 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1071, 10 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181071.

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Year Published: 2018

Methods used for the collection and analysis of chemical and biological data for the Tapwater Exposure Study, United States, 2016–17

In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Environmental Health Mission Area, initiated the Tapwater Exposure Study as part of an infrastructure project to assess human exposure to potential threats from complex mixtures of contaminants. In the pilot phase (2016), samples were collected from 11 States throughout the United States, and in the...

Romanok, Kristin M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Meppelink, Shannon M.; Argos, Maria; Brown, Juliane B.; Devito, Michael J.; Dietze, Julie E.; Givens, Carrie E.; Gray, James L.; Higgins, Christopher P.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Loftin, Keith A.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; McDonough, Carrie A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Strynar, Mark J.; Weis, Christopher P.; Wilson, Vickie S.; Bradley, Paul M.
Romanok, K.M., Kolpin, D.W., Meppelink, S.M., Argos, M., Brown, J.B., DeVito, M.J., Dietze, J.E., Givens, C.E., Gray, J.L., Higgins, C.P., Hladik, M.L., Iwanowicz, L.R., Loftin, K.A., McCleskey, R.B., McDonough, C.A., Meyer, M.T., Strynar, M.J., Weis, C.P., Wilson, V.S., and Bradley, P.M., 2018, Methods used for the collection and analysis of chemical and biological data for the Tapwater Exposure Study, United States, 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1098, 79 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181098.

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Year Published: 2018

Unsaturated zone CO2, CH4, and δ13C-CO2 at an arid region low-level radioactive waste disposal site

Elevated tritium, radiocarbon, Hg, and volatile organic compounds associated with low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) at the USGS Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS) have stimulated research on factors and processes that affect contaminant gas distribution and transport. Consequently, we examined the sources, mixing, and biogeochemistry of CO2...

Conaway, Christopher H.; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Thomas, Randall B.; Green, Christopher; Baker, R.J.; Thordsen, James J.; Stonestrom, David A.; Andraski, Brian J.

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of persistent energy-related brine contamination on amphibian abundance in national wildlife refuge wetlands

To inform sustainable energy development, it is important to understand the ecological effects of historical and current production practices and the persistence of those effects. The Williston Basin is one of North America's largest oil production areas and overlaps the Prairie Pothole Region, an area densely...

Hossack, Blake R.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Preston, Todd M.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Honeycutt, R. Ken
Hossack, B. R., K. L. Smalling, C. W. Anderson, T. M. Preston, I. M. Cozzarelli, and R. Ken Honeycutt. 2018. Effects of persistent energy-related brine contamination on amphibian abundance in national wildlife refuge wetlands. Biological Conservation 228:36–43.

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Year Published: 2018

Geochemical conditions and nitrogen transport in nearshore groundwater and the subterranean estuary at a Cape Cod embayment, East Falmouth, Massachusetts, 2013–14

Nitrogen transport and transformation were studied during 2013 to 2014 by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in a subterranean estuary beneath onshore locations on the Seacoast Shores peninsula, a residential area in Falmouth, Massachusetts, served by septic systems and cesspools, and adjacent...

Colman, John A.; LeBlanc, Denis R.; Böhlke, John K.; McCobb, Timothy D.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Belaval, Marcel; Cambareri, Thomas C.; Pirolli, Gillian F.; Brooks, T. Wallace; Garren, Mary E.; Stover, Tobias B.; Keeley, Ann
Colman, J.A., LeBlanc, D.R., Böhlke, J.K., McCobb, T.D., Kroeger, K.D., Belaval, M., Cambareri, T.C., Pirolli, G.F., Brooks, T.W., Garren, M.E., Stover, T.B., and Keeley, A., 2018, Geochemical conditions and nitrogen transport in nearshore groundwater and the subterranean estuary at a Cape Cod embayment, East Falmouth, Massachusetts, 2013–14: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5095, 69 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185095.

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Year Published: 2018

Inferring watershed hydraulics and cold-water habitat persistence using multi-year air and stream temperature signals

Streams strongly influenced by groundwater discharge may serve as “climate refugia” for sensitive species in regions of increasingly marginal thermal conditions. The main goal of this study is to develop paired air and stream water annual temperature signal analysis techniques to elucidate the relative groundwater contribution to stream water and...

Briggs, Martin A.; Johnson, Zachary C.; Snyder, Craig D.; Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Kurylyk, Barret L.; Lautz, Laura K.; Irvine, Dylan J.; Hurley, Stephen T.; Lane, Jr., John W.
Briggs, M.A., Johnson, Z.C., Snyder, C.D., Hitt, N.P., Kurylyk, B., Lautz, L.K., Irvine, D.J., Hurley, S., and Lane, J.W., 2018, Inferring watershed hydraulics and cold-water habitat persistence using multi-year air and stream temperature signals, Science of the Total Environment, 636, 1117-1127doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.344.

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Year Published: 2018

Weathering of oil in a surficial aquifer

The composition of crude oil in a surficial aquifer was determined in two locations at the Bemidji, MN, spill site. The abundances of 71 individual hydrocarbons varied within 16 locations sampled. Little depletion of these hydrocarbons (relative to the pipeline oil) occurred in the first 10 years after the spill, whereas losses of 25% to 85% of...

Baedecker, Mary Jo; Eganhouse, Robert P.; Qi, Haiping; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Trost, Jared J.; Bekins, Barbara A.
Mary Jo Baedecker, Robert P. Eganhouse, Haiping Qi, Isabelle M. Cozzarelli, Jared J. Trost, and Barbara A. Bekins, 2018, Weathering of Oil in a Surficial Aquifer, Groundwater, Vol. 56, No. 5, 797–809, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12619.