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Seasonal Variability in Vadose zone biodegradation at a crude oil pipeline rupture site
Understanding seasonal changes in natural attenuation processes is critical for evaluating source-zone longevity and informing management decisions. The seasonal variations of natural attenuation were investigated through measurements of surficial CO2 effluxes, shallow soil CO2 radiocarbon contents, subsurface gas concentrations, soil temperature...Sihota, Natasha J.; Trost, Jared J.; Bekins, Barbara; Berg, Andrew M.; Delin, Geoffrey N.; Mason, Brent E.; Warren, Ean; Mayer, K. Ulrich
Spatiotemporal patterns of mercury accumulation in lake sediments of western North America
For the Western North America Mercury Synthesis, we compiled mercury records from 165 dated sediment cores from 138 natural lakes across western North America. Lake sediments are accepted as faithful recorders of historical mercury accumulation rates, and regional and sub-regional temporal and spatial trends were analyzed with descriptive and...Drevnick, Paul; Cooke, Colin A.; Barraza, Daniella; Blais, Jules M.; Coale, Kenneth; Cumming, Brian F.; Curtis, Chris; Das, Biplob; Donahue, William F.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Engstrom, Daniel R.; Fitzgerald, William F.; Furl, Chad V.; Gray, John R.; Hall, Roland I.; Jackson, Togwell A.; Laird, Kathleen R.; Lockhart, W. Lyle; Macdonald, Robie W.; Mast, M. Alisa; Mathieu, Callie; Muir, Derek C.G.; Outridge, Peter; Reinemann, Scott; Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Ruiz-Fernandex, Ana Carolina; St. Louis, V.L.; Sanders, Rhea; Sanei, Hamed; Skierszkan, Elliott; Van Metre, Peter C.; Veverica, Timothy; Wiklund, Johan A.; Wolfe, Brent B.
Mercury risk to avian piscivores across western United States and Canada
The widespread distribution of mercury (Hg) threatens wildlife health, particularly piscivorous birds. Western North America is a diverse region that provides critical habitat to many piscivorous bird species, and also has a well-documented history of mercury contamination from legacy mining and atmospheric deposition. The diversity of landscapes...Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Willacker, James J.; Elliott, John E.; Lepak, Jesse M.; Vander Pol, Stacy S.; Bryan, Colleen E.
Pre/post-closure assessment of groundwater pharmaceutical fate in a wastewater‑facility-impacted stream reach
Pharmaceutical contamination of contiguous groundwater is a substantial concern in wastewater-impacted streams, due to ubiquity in effluent, high aqueous mobility, designed bioactivity, and to effluent-driven hydraulic gradients. Wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) closures are rare environmental remediation events; offering unique insights into...Bradley, Paul M.; Barber, Larry B.; Clark, Jimmy M.; Duris, Joseph W.; Foreman, William T. ; Furlong, Edward T.; Givens, Carrie E.; Hubbard, Laura E.; Hutchinson, Kasey J.; Journey, Celeste A.; Keefe, Steffanie H.; Kolpin, Dana W.
A comparison of three macroinvertebrate sampling devices for use in conducting rapid-assessment procedures of Delmarva Peninsula wetlands
Three types of macroinvertebrate collecting devices, Gerking box traps, D-shaped sweep nets, and activity traps, have commonly been used to sample macroinvertebrates when conducting rapid biological assessments of North American wetlands. We compared collections of macroinvertebrates identified to the family level made with these devices in 6...Lowe, T. Peter; Tebbs, Kerry; Sparling, Donald W.
Spatial modeling of wild bird risk factors to investigate highly pathogenic A(H5N1) avian influenza virus transmission
One of the longest-persisting avian influenza viruses in history, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) A(H5N1), continues to evolve after 18 years, advancing the threat of a global pandemic. Wild waterfowl (family Anatidae), are reported as secondary transmitters of HPAIV, and primary reservoirs for low-pathogenic avian influenza...Prosser, Diann J.; Hungerford, Laura L.; Erwin, R. Michael; Ottinger, Mary Ann; Takekawa, John Y.; Newman, Scott H.; Xiao, Xianming; Ellis, Erie C.
Resetting the bar: Establishing baselines for persistent contaminants after Hurricane Sandy in the coastal environments of New Jersey and New York, USA
In the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, public health officials and other first responders engage in many activities to protect the public and ecosystems in the affected area. These activities include critical tasks designed to minimize adverse consequences resulting from chemical and microbial contaminant exposures, such as acute disease...Reilly, Timothy J.; Focazio, Michael J.; Simmons, Dale L.
Mercury in western North America: A synthesis of environmental contamination, fluxes, bioaccumulation, and risk to fish and wildlife
Western North America is a region defined by extreme gradients in geomorphology and climate, which support a diverse array of ecological communities and natural resources. The region also has extreme gradients in mercury (Hg) contamination due to a broad distribution of inorganic Hg sources. These diverse Hg sources and a varied landscape create a...Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Wiener, James G.; Eckley, Chris S.; Willacker, James J.; Evers, David C.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Obrist, Daniel; Fleck, Jacob; Aiken, George R.; Lepak, Jesse M.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Webster, Jackson; Stewart, Robin; Davis, Jay; Alpers, Charles N.; Ackerman, Joshua T.
Detection of hepatitis E virus and other livestock-related pathogens in Iowa streams
Manure application is a source of pathogens to the environment. Through overland runoff and tile drainage, zoonotic pathogens can contaminate surface water and streambed sediment and could affect both wildlife and human health. This study examined the environmental occurrence of gene markers for livestock-related bacterial, protozoan, and viral...Givens, Carrie E.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Borchardt, Mark A.; Duris, Joseph W.; Moorman, Thomas B.; Spencer, Susan K.
Endocrine disrupting activities of surface water associated with a West Virginia oil and gas industry wastewater disposal site
Currently, >95% of end disposal of hydraulic fracturing wastewater from unconventional oil and gas operations in the US occurs via injection wells. Key data gaps exist in understanding the potential impact of underground injection on surface water quality and environmental health. The goal of this study was to assess endocrine disrupting...Kassotis, Christopher D.; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Akob, Denise M.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Mumford, Adam; Orem, William H.; Nagel, Susan C.
Wastewater disposal from unconventional oil and gas development degrades stream quality at a West Virginia injection facility
The development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) resources has rapidly increased in recent years; however, the environmental impacts and risks are poorly understood. A single well can generate millions of liters of wastewater, representing a mixture of formation brine and injected hydraulic fracturing fluids. One of the most common methods for...Akob, Denise M.; Mumford, Adam; Orem, William H.; Engle, Mark A.; Klinges, Julia (Grace); Kent, Douglas B.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.
Clarifying beliefs underlying hunter intentions to support a ban on lead shot
Shot from hunting adds toxic lead to environments worldwide. Existing lead shot regulations have been instituted with little understanding of hunter beliefs and attitudes. This study applied the Theory of Reasoned Action, using a multilevel, multivariate approach, to clarify how positive and negative beliefs relate to attitudes about a ban on lead...Schroeder, Susan A.; Fulton, David C.; Doncarlos, Kathy
Although the visual picture of mixing zones at stream confluences appears straightforward, such as this one at the confluence of Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado, the chemical reactions that occur make them extremely complex from a water-quality perspective.
Vegetation grows on an east-facing cliff along Bull Run near Sudley Springs in Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia. The cliffs are islands of specialized habitat; they support plant species found nowhere else in the park, including locally uncommon or rare species.
East-facing cliff approximately 30 meters downstream from Farm Ford along Bull Run in Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia.
Dusty conditions prior to road treatment on the auto tour loop at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (formerly Squaw Creek NWR) in July of 2014. Loess Bluffs was the site of a large-scale field test of two dust suppressant products, with monitoring of product performance and environmental safety. Photo Credit: Bethany K. Kunz, USGS.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists collecting a groundwater sample from a well at the USGS Bemidji Crude-Oil Spill Research Site, Minnesota. The scientists monitored in real time the dissolved oxygen, pH, specific conductance, and temperature of the water as the well is pumped so they can know when to collect representative sample.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists collecting water-quality samples from shallow groundwater under Ashumet Pond, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The scientists collected the samples to understand importance of lake sediments in removal of cyanobacteria, viruses, and dissolved...
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist collecting water samples on a wastewater disposal facility in West Virginia to assess potential environmental impacts due to activities at the site. Shifts in the overall microbial community structure were present in stream sediments...
USGS Scientist Collecting a Water-Quality Sample from Zollner Creek, Oregon, for the Analysis of Dissolved Pesticides
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologic technician Dan Polette collecting a water-quality sample from Zollner Creek, Oregon for a national-scale investigation of the environmental occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural and urban settings....
USGS scientist collects water samples and measures stream-water field parameters at North Sylamore Creek, Arkansas, on January 7, 2014. About 60 sample bottles are filled and shipped to USGS and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency laboratories across the Nation for chemical and biological analysis.
Recent advancements in assessments using early life stages of test organisms (like the larval mussels shown) provide robust alternatives to full life-cycle chronic ecotoxicity tests. For more information on aquatic toxicology test organisms refer to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS...
To help understand the geochemical conditions that control arsenic mobilization in the subsurface a U.S. Geological Survey scientist uses a syringe to withdraw water from a core for analysis. The core sample was collected using the freezing drive shoe technology...