Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

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GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

The GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter provides information on new USGS science activities related to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, livestock, 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 recience studies, publications, and results.

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Filter Total Items: 2,484
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Year Published: 2019

Geochemical factors controlling dissolved elemental mercury and methylmercury formation in Alaskan wetlands of varying trophic status

Transformations of aqueous inorganic divalent mercury (Hg(II)i) to volatile dissolved gaseous mercury (Hg(0)(aq)) and toxic methylmercury (MeHg) governs mercury bioavailability and fate in northern ecosystems. This study quantified concentrations of aqueous mercury species (Hg(II)i, Hg(0)(aq), MeHg) and relevant geochemical constituents in pore...

Poulin, Brett; Ryan, Joseph N.; Tate, Michael; Krabbenhoft, David; Hines, Mark E; Barkay, Tamar; Schaefer, Jeffra; Aiken, George R.

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Year Published: 2019

Tracking legacy mercury in the Hackensack River Estuary using mercury stable isotopes

Spatial redistribution of legacy mercury (Hg) contamination in the Hackensack River estuary (New Jersey, USA) was evaluated using mercury stable isotopes. Total Hg varied from 0.06 to 3.8 µg g-1 in sediment from the tidal Hackensack River and from 15 to 154 µg g-1 near historically contaminated sites in upper Berry's Creek, a tributary of the...

Reinfelder, John R; Janssen, Sarah E.

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Year Published: 2019

Use of high-throughput screening results to prioritize chemicals for potential adverse biological effects within a West Virginia Watershed

Organic chemicals from industrial, agricultural, and residential activities can enter surface waters through regulated and unregulated discharges, combined sewer overflows, stormwater runoff, accidental spills, and leaking septic-conveyance systems on a daily basis. The impact of point and nonpoint contaminant sources can result in adverse...

Rose, Levi D.; Akob, Denise; Tuberty, Shea; Colby, Jeff; Martin, Derek; Corsi, Steven; DeCicco, Laura

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Year Published: 2019

Residence time controls on the fate of nitrogen in flow‐through lakebed sediments

For many glacial lakes with highly permeable sediments, water exchange rates control hydrologic residence times within the sediment‐water interface (SWI) and the removal of reactive compounds such as nitrate, a common pollutant in lakes and groundwater. Here we conducted a series of focused tracer injection experiments in the upper 20 cm of...

Hampton, Tyler B.; Zarentske, Jay P.; Briggs, Martin A.; Singha, Kamini; Harvey, Judson W.; Day-Lewis, Frederick D.; Dehkordy, Farzaneh MahmoodPoor; Lane, John W.

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Year Published: 2019

Wetland-scale mapping of preferential fresh groundwater discharge to the Colorado River

Quantitative evaluation of groundwater/surface water exchange dynamics is universally challenging in large river systems, because existing methodology often does not yield spatially‐distributed data and is difficult to apply in deeper water. Here we apply a combined near‐surface geophysical and direct groundwater chemical toolkit to refine fresh...

Briggs, Martin A.; Nelson, Nora; Gardner, Philip M.; Solomon, D. Kip; Terry, Neil; Lane, John W.

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Year Published: 2019

Multi-scale preferential flow processes in an urban streambed under variable hydraulic conditions

Spatially preferential flow processes occur at nested scales at the sediment-water interface (SWI), due in part to sediment heterogeneities, which may be enhanced in flashy urban streams with heavy road sand influence. However, several factors, including the flow-rate dependence of preferential hyporheic flow and discrete groundwater discharge...

Dehkordy, Farzaneh MahmoodPoor; Briggs, Martin A.; Day-Lewis, Frederick D.; Singha, Kamini; Krajnovich, Ashton; Hampton, Tyler B.; Zarnetske, Jay P.; Scruggs, Courtney R.; Bagtzoglou, Amvrossios C.

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Year Published: 2019

Biogeochemical and physical processes controlling mercury methylation and bioaccumulation in Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah and Arizona, 2014 and 2015

Mercury monitoring results from about 300 Morone saxatilis (striped bass) muscle tissue samples collected by the State of Utah from Lake Powell resulted in a Utah/Arizona fish consumption advisory issued in 2012 for approximately the lower 100 kilometers of the reservoir. Chemical, physical, and biological data were collected during two synoptic...

Naftz, David L.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Aiken, George; Boyd, Eric S.; Conaway, Christopher H.; Ogorek, Jacob M.; Anderson, Gregory M.
Naftz, D.L., Marvin-DiPasquale, M., Krabbenhoft, D.P., Aiken, G., Boyd, E.S., Conaway, C.H., Ogorek, J., and Anderson, G.M., 2019, Biogeochemical and physical processes controlling mercury methylation and bioaccumulation in Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah and Arizona, 2014 and 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1159, 81 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181159.

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Year Published: 2019

Constraining the oxygen isotopic composition of nitrate produced by nitrification

Measurements of the stable isotope ratios of nitrogen (15N/14N) and oxygen (18O/16O) in nitrate (NO3–) enable identification of sources, dispersal, and fate of natural and contaminant NO3– in aquatic environments. The 18O/16O of NO3– produced by nitrification is often assumed to reflect the proportional contribution of oxygen atom...

Boshers, Danielle S.; Granger, Julie; Tobias, Craig R.; Böhlke, John K.; Smith, Richard L.

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Year Published: 2019

Improved enrichment factor calculations through principal component analysis: Examples from soils near breccia pipe uranium mines, Arizona, USA

The enrichment factor (EF) is a widely used metric for determining how much the presence of an element in a sampling media has increased relative to average natural abundance because of human activity. Calculation of an EF requires the selection of both a background composition and a reference element, choices that can strongly influence the...

Bern, Carleton R.; Walton-Day, Katie; Naftz, David L.

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Year Published: 2019

Fungicides: An overlooked pesticide class?

Fungicides are indispensable to global food security and their use is forecasted to intensify. Fungicides can reach aquatic ecosystems and occur in surface water bodies in agricultural catchments throughout the whole growing season due to their frequent, prophylactic application. However, in comparison to herbicides and insecticides, the exposure...

Zubrod, Jochen; Bundschuh, Micro; Arts, Gertie; Bruhl, Carsten; Imfeld, Gwenaël; Knäbel, Anja; Payraudeau, Sylvain; Rasmussen, Jes J; Rohr, Jason; Scharmüller, Andreas; Smalling, Kelly; Stehle, Sebastian; Schulz, Ralf; Schäfer, Ralf B.

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Year Published: 2019

Associations between environmental pollutants and larval amphibians in wetlands contaminated by energy-related brines are potentially mediated by feeding traits

Energy production in the Williston Basin, located in the Prairie Pothole Region of central North America, has increased rapidly over the last several decades. Advances in recycling and disposal practices of saline wastewaters (brines) co-produced during energy production have reduced ecological risks, but spills still...

Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Honeycutt, R. Ken; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Preston, Todd M.; Hossack, Blake R.

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Year Published: 2019

Slough evolution and legacy mercury remobilization induced by wetland restoration in South San Francisco Bay

Coastal wetlands have a long history of degradation and destruction due to human development. Now recognized as one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, substantial efforts are being made to restore this critical habitat. While wetland restoration efforts are generally viewed as beneficial in terms of providing wildlife habitat and...

Foxgrover, Amy C.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Fregoso, Theresa A.