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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: 3,055
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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

Use of blood clotting assays to assess potential anticoagulant rodenticide exposure and effects in free-ranging birds of prey

Non-target wildlife, particularly birds of prey, are widely exposed to and acutely poisoned by anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs). An unresolved issue surrounding such exposure, however, is the potential for sublethal effects. In particular, the consequences of AR exposure and resulting coagulopathy on health and survival of...

Hindmarch, Sofi; Rattner, Barnett A.; Elliott, John E.

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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

Polychlorinated biphenyl tissue‐concentration thresholds for survival, growth, and reproduction in fish

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have left a legacy of environmental contamination. Even though they were banned from production and active use in the 1970s, they persist in the environment and still have the potential to impact aquatic life. Our objective was to identify data from controlled laboratory studies of PCB‐related adverse effects in...

Berninger, Jason P.; Tillitt, Donald E.

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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

Extreme value-based methods for modeling elk yearly movements

Species range shifts and the spread of diseases are both likely to be driven by extreme movements, but are difficult to statistically model due to their rarity. We propose a statistical approach for characterizing movement kernels that incorporate landscape covariates as well as the potential for heavy-tailed distributions. We used a spliced...

Wijeyakulasuriya, Dhanushi A.; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Shaby, Benjamin A.; Cross, Paul C.

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of chronic low‐dose elemental and radiological exposures of biota at the Kanab North uranium mine site in the Grand Canyon watershed

High‐grade U ore deposits are in various stages of exploitation across the Grand Canyon watershed, yet the effects of U mining on ecological and cultural resources are largely unknown. We characterized the concentrations of Al, As, Bi, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, Hg, Mo, Ni, Se, Ag, Tl, Th, U, and Zn, gross alpha and beta activities, and U and Th...

Cleveland, Danielle; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Lankton, Julia S.

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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

Sex‐specific responses in neuroanatomy of hatchling American kestrels in response to embryonic exposure to the flame retardants bis(2‐ethylhexyl)‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromophthalate and 2‐ethylhexyl‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromobenzoate

Bis(2‐ethylhexyl)‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromophthalate (BEH‐TEBP) and 2‐ethylhexyl‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromobenzoate (EH‐TBB), flame retardant components of FireMaster 550® and 600® have been detected in tissues of wild birds. To address the paucity of information regarding potential impacts of flame retardants on the brain, brain volume regions of hatchling...

Guigueno, Mélanie F.; Karouna-Renier, Natalie K.; Henry, Paula F. P.; Peters, Lisa E.; Palace, Vince P.; Letcher, Robert J.; Fernie, Kim J.

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Year Published: 2018

Characterizing toxicity of metal‐contaminated sediments from the Upper Columbia River, Washington, USA, to benthic invertebrates

Sediments from the Upper Columbia River, Washington, USA, are contaminated with metals from smelting operations. We conducted short‐term and long‐term tests with the midge Chironomus dilutus and the amphipod Hyalella azteca and short‐term tests with the freshwater mussel Lampsilis siliquoidea with 54 sediments from...

Besser, John M.; Steevens, Jeffery; Kunz, James L.; Brumbaugh, William G.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Cox, Stephen E.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Sinclair, Jesse A.; MacDonald, Donald D.

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Year Published: 2018

A diverse suite of pharmaceuticals contaminates stream and riparian food webs

A multitude of biologically active pharmaceuticals contaminate surface waters globally, yet their presence in aquatic food webs remain largely unknown. Here, we show that over 60 pharmaceutical compounds can be detected in aquatic invertebrates and riparian spiders in six streams near Melbourne, Australia. Similar concentrations in aquatic...

Richmond, Erinn K.; Rosi, Emma J.; Walters, David M.; Fikk, Jerker; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Brodin, Tomas; Sundelin, Anna; Grace, Michael R.