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Title: Basins, beaver ponds, and the storage and redistribution of trace elements in an industrially impacted coastal plain stream on the Savannah River Site, SC, USA

Abstract

Accumulation of eleven trace elements in sediment was evaluated throughout an industrially disturbed headwater stream on the Savannah River Site, SC, USA. Sampling began at upstream sedimentation basins at the margins of industrial areas, continued longitudinally downstream to a beaver pond representing a potential sink in the mid-reaches, and ended in downstream reaches. Additionally, sediment from beaver impacted areas in another industrially disturbed stream and a reference stream were analyzed to assess the natural tendency of these depositional features to settle out trace elements. We further compared trace element accumulation in sediment and biota from downstream reaches before and after an extreme rainy period to evaluate the potential redistribution of trace elements from sink areas. Trace elements accumulated in the headwater basins from which elements were redistributed to downstream reaches. The mid-reach beaver affected area sediments accumulated elevated concentrations of most analyzed elements compared to the free-flowing stream. The elevated accumulation of organic matter in these sink areas illustrated the effectiveness of reduced water velocity areas to settle out materials. The natural tendency of beaver ponds to accumulate trace elements and organic matter was further illustrated by sediments from the reference beaver pond accumulating higher concentrations of several elements thanmore » sediments from the free flowing section the stream impacted by industrial activity. However, concentrations in sediment from sedimentation basins and the beaver impacted area of the disturbed stream were highest. Trace elements and organic matter appeared to be redistributed from the sinks after the record rainy period resulting in increased trace element concentrations in both sediment and biota. These data suggest that assessments of contaminants in stream systems should include such slow-water, extreme depositional zones such as beaver impacted areas or basins to verify what contaminants may be pulsing through the stream.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
1570510
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1799579
Grant/Contract Number:  
EM0004391; 1460940
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Environment International
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Environment International Journal Volume: 133 Journal Issue: PA; Journal ID: ISSN 0160-4120
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; trace elements; sediment assessment; stormwater runoff; aquatic invertebrates; bioaccumulation; savannah river site

Citation Formats

Fletcher, Dean E., Lindell, Brooke E., Lindell, Angela H., Stankus, Paul T., Fletcher, Nathaniel D., McArthur, J. Vaun, and Seaman, John C. Basins, beaver ponds, and the storage and redistribution of trace elements in an industrially impacted coastal plain stream on the Savannah River Site, SC, USA. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2019.105174.
Fletcher, Dean E., Lindell, Brooke E., Lindell, Angela H., Stankus, Paul T., Fletcher, Nathaniel D., McArthur, J. Vaun, & Seaman, John C. Basins, beaver ponds, and the storage and redistribution of trace elements in an industrially impacted coastal plain stream on the Savannah River Site, SC, USA. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105174
Fletcher, Dean E., Lindell, Brooke E., Lindell, Angela H., Stankus, Paul T., Fletcher, Nathaniel D., McArthur, J. Vaun, and Seaman, John C. Sun . "Basins, beaver ponds, and the storage and redistribution of trace elements in an industrially impacted coastal plain stream on the Savannah River Site, SC, USA". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105174.
@article{osti_1570510,
title = {Basins, beaver ponds, and the storage and redistribution of trace elements in an industrially impacted coastal plain stream on the Savannah River Site, SC, USA},
author = {Fletcher, Dean E. and Lindell, Brooke E. and Lindell, Angela H. and Stankus, Paul T. and Fletcher, Nathaniel D. and McArthur, J. Vaun and Seaman, John C.},
abstractNote = {Accumulation of eleven trace elements in sediment was evaluated throughout an industrially disturbed headwater stream on the Savannah River Site, SC, USA. Sampling began at upstream sedimentation basins at the margins of industrial areas, continued longitudinally downstream to a beaver pond representing a potential sink in the mid-reaches, and ended in downstream reaches. Additionally, sediment from beaver impacted areas in another industrially disturbed stream and a reference stream were analyzed to assess the natural tendency of these depositional features to settle out trace elements. We further compared trace element accumulation in sediment and biota from downstream reaches before and after an extreme rainy period to evaluate the potential redistribution of trace elements from sink areas. Trace elements accumulated in the headwater basins from which elements were redistributed to downstream reaches. The mid-reach beaver affected area sediments accumulated elevated concentrations of most analyzed elements compared to the free-flowing stream. The elevated accumulation of organic matter in these sink areas illustrated the effectiveness of reduced water velocity areas to settle out materials. The natural tendency of beaver ponds to accumulate trace elements and organic matter was further illustrated by sediments from the reference beaver pond accumulating higher concentrations of several elements than sediments from the free flowing section the stream impacted by industrial activity. However, concentrations in sediment from sedimentation basins and the beaver impacted area of the disturbed stream were highest. Trace elements and organic matter appeared to be redistributed from the sinks after the record rainy period resulting in increased trace element concentrations in both sediment and biota. These data suggest that assessments of contaminants in stream systems should include such slow-water, extreme depositional zones such as beaver impacted areas or basins to verify what contaminants may be pulsing through the stream.},
doi = {10.1016/j.envint.2019.105174},
journal = {Environment International},
number = PA,
volume = 133,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
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https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105174

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