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Circular 1317

Understanding Metal Pathways in Mineralized Ecosystems

By Laurie S. Balistrieri, Andrea L. Foster, Larry P. Gough, Floyd Gray, James J. Rytuba, and Lisa L. Stillings

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Abstract

Successful management of ecosystems containing historical mine wastes requires understanding of processes that are responsible for the distribution, concentration, and bioavailability of potentially toxic elements. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists recently completed several investigations at historical mine sites in the western United States. These investigations have improved our understanding of how metals are mobilized from mineralized sources, are transported through the environment, and become available to humans and other biota. The new information is being used by Federal, State, and local agencies that manage and remediate abandoned mine lands.


Suggested citation:

Balistrieri, L.S., Foster, A.L., Gough, L.P., Gray, Floyd, Rytuba, J.J., and Stillings, L.L., 2007, Understanding metal pathways in mineralized ecosystems: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1317, 12 p..



Contents

Abstract
Introduction
The USGS Pathways Project
Mercury and fish in California
Why was the study done?
What are the major conclusions?
How is the information used?
Lead and endangered waterfowl in Idaho
Why was the study done?
What are the major conclusions?
How is the information used?
Cadmium and willow in Alaska
Why was the study done?
What are the major conclusions?
How is the information used?
Selenium in wetlands: Case studies in Idaho and Nevada
Why was the study done?
What are the major conclusions?
How is the information used?
Metal transport and climate in Arizona
Why was the study done?
What are the major conclusions?
How is the information used?
Discussion
Acknowledgments
Sources of Additional Information

 


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