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: 2,733
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Year Published: 2019

Critical review: Grand challenges in assessing the adverse effects of contaminants of emerging concern on aquatic food webs

Much progress has been made in the past few decades in understanding the sources, transport, fate, and biological effects of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic ecosystems. Despite these advancements, significant obstacles still prevent comprehensive assessments of the environmental risks associated with the presence of CECs. Many...

Nilsen, Elena; Smalling, Kelly L.; Ahrens, Lutz; Gros, Meritxell; Miglioranza, Karina S. B.; Pico, Yolanda; Schoenfuss, Heiko L.

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Year Published: 2019

Chlorinated byproducts of neonicotinoids and their metabolites: An unrecognized human exposure potential?

We recently reported the initial discovery of neonicotinoid pesticides in drinking water and their potential for transformation through chlorination and alkaline hydrolysis during water treatment. The objectives of this research were: (1) to determine if neonicotinoid metabolites are relevant to drinking water exposure and (2) to identify the...

Klarich Wong, Kathryn L.; Webb, Danielle T.; Nagorzanski, Matthew R.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Cwiertny, David M.; LeFevre, Gregory H.

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Year Published: 2019

Potential toxicity of complex mixtures in surface waters from a nationwide survey of United States streams: Identifying in vitro bioactivities and causative chemicals

While chemical analysis of contaminant mixtures remains an essential component of environmental monitoring, bioactivity-based assessments using in vitro systems increasingly play a role in the detection of biological effects. Historically, in vitro assessments focused on a few biological pathways, e.g., aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) or estrogen...

Blackwell, Brett R.; Ankley, Gerald T.; Bradley, Paul M.; Houck, Keith A.; Makarov, Sergei S.; Medvedev, Alexander V.; Swintek, Joe; Villeneuve, Daniel L.

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Year Published: 2019

UZIG research: Measurement and characterization of unsaturated zone processes under wide-ranging climates and changing conditions

Unsaturated zone properties and processes are central to understanding the interacting effects of land-use change, contamination, and hydroclimate on our ability to grow food, sustain clean water supplies, and minimize loss of life and property. Advances in unsaturated zone science are being achieved through collaborations across traditional...

Trost, Jared J.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Perkins, Kimberlie; Henson, Wesley R.; Nimmo, John R.; Munoz-Carpena, Rafael

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Year Published: 2019

Efficient hydrogeological characterization of remote stream corridors using drones

This project demonstrates the successful use of small unoccupied aircraft system (sUASs) for hydrogeological characterization of a remote stream reach in a rugged mountain terrain. Thermal infrared, visual imagery, and derived digital surface models are used to inform conceptual models of groundwater/surface‐water exchange and efficiently...

Briggs, Martin A.; Dawson, Cian B.; Holmquist-Johnson, Christopher; Williams, Kenneth H.; Lane, John W.

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Year Published: 2019

Mixed-chemical exposure and predicted effects potential in wadeable southeastern USA streams

Complex chemical mixtures have been widely reported in larger streams but relatively little work has been done to characterize them and assess their potential effects in headwaterstreams. In 2014, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) sampled 54 Piedmont streams over ten weeks and measured 475 unique organic compounds...

Bradley, Paul M.; Journey, Celeste A.; Berninger, Jason P.; Button, Daniel T.; Clark, Jimmy M.; Corsi, Steven R.; DeCicco, Laura A.; Hopkins, Kristina G.; Huffman, Bradley J.; Nakagaki, Naomi; Norman, Julia E.; Nowell, Lisa H.; Qi, Sharon L.; Van Metre, Peter C.; Waite, Ian R.

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Year Published: 2019

Tracing the cycling and fate of the munition, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in a simulated sandy coastal marine habitat with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[RDX]

Coastal marine habitats become contaminated with the munitions constituent, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-trazine (RDX), via military training, weapon testing and leakage of unexploded ordnance. This study used 15N labeled RDX in simulated aquarium-scale coastal marine habitat containing seawater, sediment, and biota to track...

Ariyarathna, Thivanka; Ballentine, Mark; Vlahos, Penny; Smith, Richard W.; Cooper, Christopher; Böhlke, John K.; Fallis, Stephen; Groshens, Thomas J.; Tobias, Craig R.
Ariyarathna, T.S., Ballentine, M., Vlahos, P., Smith, R.W., Cooper, C., Böhlke, J.K., Fallis, S., Groshens, T.J., and Tobias, C.R., 2018, Tracing the cycling and fate of the munition, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in a simulated sandy coastal marine habitat with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[RDX]. Science of the Total Environment v. 647, p. 369-378, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.404.

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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.