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: 2016

A synthesis of terrestrial mercury in the western United States: Spatial distribution defined by land cover and plant productivity

A synthesis of published vegetation mercury (Hg) data across 11 contiguous states in the western United States showed that aboveground biomass concentrations followed the order: leaves (26 μg kg− 1) ~ branches (26 μg kg− 1) > bark (16 μg kg− 1) > bole wood (1 μg...

Obrist, Daniel; Pearson, Christopher; Webster, Jackson; Kane, Tyler J.; Lin, Che-Jen; Aiken, George R.; Alpers, Charles N.

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Year Published: 2016

Estimating mercury emissions resulting from wildfire in forests of the Western United States

Understanding the emissions of mercury (Hg) from wildfires is important for quantifying the global atmospheric Hg sources. Emissions of Hg from soils resulting from wildfires in the Western United States was estimated for the 2000 to 2013 period, and the potential emission of Hg from forest soils was assessed as a function of forest type and soil-...

Webster, Jackson; Kane, Tyler J.; Obrist, Daniel; Ryan, Joseph N.; Aiken, George R.

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Year Published: 2016

Linking field-based metabolomics and chemical analyses to prioritize contaminants of emerging concern in the Great Lakes basin

The ability to focus on the most biologically relevant contaminants affecting aquatic ecosystems can be challenging because toxicity-assessment programs have not kept pace with the growing number of contaminants requiring testing. Because it has proven effective at assessing the biological impacts of potentially toxic contaminants, profiling of...

Davis, John M.; Ekman, Drew R.; Teng, Quincy; Ankley, Gerald T.; Berninger, Jason P.; Cavallin, Jenna E.; Jensen, Kathleen M.; Kahl, Michael D.; Schroeder, Anthony L.; Villeneuve, Daniel L.; Jorgenson, Zachary G.; Lee, Kathy; Collette, Timothy W.
Davis, J.M., Ekman, D.R., Teng, Q., Ankley, G.T., Berninger, J.P., Cavallin, J.E., Jensen, K.M., Kahl, M.D., Schroeder, A.L., Villeneuve, D.L., Jorgenson, Z.G., Lee, K.E. and Collette, T.W., 2016, Linking field-based metabolomics and chemical analyses to prioritize contaminants of emerging concern in the Great Lakes basin: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, v. 35, no. 10, p. 2493–2502, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3409.

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Year Published: 2016

Potential interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality and adjacent land cover in amphibian habitats in the United States

To investigate interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality, and adjacent land cover, we collected samples of water, sediment, and frog tissue from 21 sites in 7 States in the United States (US) representing a variety of amphibian habitats. All samples were analyzed for > 90 pesticides and pesticide degradates, and water and frogs...

Battaglin, William A.; Smalling, Kelly L. ; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Muths, Erin L.
Battaglin, W.A., Smalling, K.L., Anderson, C., Chestnut, T., and Muths, E., 2016, Potential interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality and adjacent land cover in amphibian habitats in the United States: Science of the Total Environment, v. 566-567, p. 320-332, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.062

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Year Published: 2016

Use of mineral/solution equilibrium calculations to assess the potential for carnotite precipitation from groundwater in the Texas Panhandle, USA

This study investigated the potential for the uranium mineral carnotite (K2(UO2)2(VO4)2·3H2O) to precipitate from evaporating groundwater in the Texas Panhandle region of the United States. The evolution of groundwater chemistry during evaporation was modeled with the USGS geochemical code PHREEQC using water-quality data from 100 groundwater...

Ranalli, Anthony J.; Yager, Douglas B.

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Year Published: 2016

Microbial pathogens in source and treated waters from drinking water treatment plants in the United States and implications for human health

An occurrence survey was conducted on selected pathogens in source and treated drinking water collected from 25 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) in the United States. Water samples were analyzed for the protozoa Giardia and Cryptosporidium (EPA Method 1623); the fungi Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus terreus (...

King, Dawn N.; Donohue, Maura J.; Vesper, Stephen J.; Villegas, Eric N.; Ware, Michael W.; Vogel, Megan E.; Furlong, Edward; Kolpin, Dana W.; Glassmeyer, Susan T.; Pfaller, Stacy

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Year Published: 2016

Investigation of total and hexavalent chromium in filtered and unfiltered groundwater samples at the Tucson International Airport Superfund Site

Potential health effects from hexavalent chromium in groundwater have recently become a concern to regulators at the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund site. In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey sampled 46 wells in the area to characterize the nature and extent of chromium in groundwater, to understand what proportion of total chromium is...

Tillman, Fred; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Hermosillo, Edyth

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Year Published: 2016

Biogeochemical controls of uranium bioavailability from the dissolved phase in natural freshwaters

To gain insights into the risks associated with uranium (U) mining and processing, we investigated the biogeochemical controls of U bioavailability in the model freshwater speciesLymnaea stagnalis (Gastropoda). Bioavailability of dissolved U(VI) was characterized in controlled laboratory experiments over a range of water hardness, pH, and in...

Croteau, Marie-Noele; Fuller, Christopher C.; Cain, Daniel J.; Campbell, Kate M.; Aiken, George R.
Croteau et al. Biogeochemical controls of uranium bioavailability from the dissolved phase. Environ. Sci. Technol.

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Year Published: 2016

Actively heated high-resolution fiber-optic-distributed temperature sensing to quantify streambed flow dynamics in zones of strong groundwater upwelling

Zones of strong groundwater upwelling to streams enhance thermal stability and moderate thermal extremes, which is particularly important to aquatic ecosystems in a warming climate. Passive thermal tracer methods used to quantify vertical upwelling rates rely on downward conduction of surface temperature signals. However, moderate to high...

Briggs, Martin A.; Buckley, Sean F.; Bagtzoglou, Amvrossios C.; Werkema, Dale D.; Lane, John W.
Briggs, M.A., Buckley, S.F., Bagtzoglou, A.C., Werkema, D. and Lane J.W. (2016), Actively heated high-resolution fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing to quantify flow dynamics in zones of strong groundwater upwelling, Water Resources Research, 52, doi: 10.1002/2015WR018219

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Year Published: 2016

Bayesian nitrate source apportionment to individual groundwater wells in the Central Valley by use of elemental and isotopic tracers

Groundwater quality is a concern in alluvial aquifers that underlie agricultural areas, such as in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Shallow domestic wells (less than 150 m deep) in agricultural areas are often contaminated by nitrate. Agricultural and rural nitrate sources include dairy manure, synthetic fertilizers, and septic waste....

Ransom, Katherine M; Grote, Mark N.; Deinhart, Amanda; Eppich, Gary; Kendall, Carol; Sanborn, Matthew E.; Sounders, A. Kate; Wimpenny, Joshua; Yin, Qing-zhu; Young, Megan B.; Harter, Thomas
Bayesian nitrate source apportionment to individual groundwater wells in the Central Valley by use of elemental and isotopic tracers (2016). Katherine M. Ransom, Mark N. Grote, Amanda Deinhart, Gary Eppich, Carol Kendall, Matthew E. Sanborn, A. Kate Souders, Joshua Wimpenny, Qing-zhu Yin, Megan Young, Thomas Harter. Water Resources Research, 52, pg 5577-5597, doi: 10.1002/2015WR018523

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Year Published: 2016

The impact of onsite wastewater disposal systems on groundwater in areas inundated by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey

Coastal onsite wastewater disposal systems (OWDS) were inundated by Hurricane Sandy's storm tide. This study compares the shallow groundwater quality (nutrients, pharmaceuticals, and hormones) downgradient of OWDS before and after Hurricane Sandy, where available, and establishes a baseline for wastewater influence on groundwater in coastal...

Fisher, Irene; Phillips, Patrick J.; Colella, Kaitlyn; Fisher, Shawn C.; Tagliaferri, Tristen N.; Foreman, William T. ; Furlong, Edward T.

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Year Published: 2016

Comparison of wastewater-associated contaminants in the bed sediment of Hempstead Bay, New York, before and after Hurricane Sandy

Changes in bed sediment chemistry of Hempstead Bay (HB) have been evaluated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in the release of billions of liters of poorly-treated sewage into tributaries and channels throughout the bay. Surficial grab samples (top 5 cm) collected before and (or) after Hurricane Sandy from sixteen sites in HB...

Fisher, Shawn C.; Phillips, Patrick J.; Brownawell, Bruce J.; Browne, James