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Data Series 658

Mercury Species and Other Selected Constituent Concentrations in Water, Sediment, and Biota of Sinclair Inlet, Kitsap County, Washington, 2007–10

By R.L. Huffman, R.J. Wagner, J. Toft, J. Cordell, J.F. DeWild, R.S. Dinicola, G.R. Aiken, D.P. Krabbenhoft, M. Marvin-DiPasquale, A.R. Stewart, P.W. Moran, and A.J. Paulson

Abstract

This report presents data collected for two U.S. Geological Survey field sampling projects related to mercury (Hg) in Sinclair Inlet: (1) the Watersheds Sources Project that evaluated the sources of mercury to Sinclair Inlet during December 2007 to March 2010, and (2) the Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project, a comprehensive examination of mercury biogeochemistry in sediment, water, and zooplankton during August 2008–February 2010.

For the Watershed Sources project, nonpoint and point sources of mercury to Sinclair Inlet from the Bremerton naval complex (BNC) were evaluated by using filtered total mercury and particulate total mercury measured in water samples collected from 11 wells, 2 dry dock sump discharges, and a steam plant’s effluent at the BNC. Methylmercury sources to the inlet were examined by determining filtered methylmercury concentrations in water samples collected from five wells, two dry dock sump discharges, a steam plant’s effluent, five intertidal piezometers, and three stormwater drains on the BNC, as well as in samples from five creeks, two wastewater treatment facilities, and three stormwater drains in the Sinclair Inlet watershed outside of the BNC. An improved understanding of tidally modulated mercury migration to Sinclair Inlet from the BNC was gained through three intensive nearshore (tidal) sampling events of mercury species in groundwater and a nearby stormwater drain.

The Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project included a comprehensive field study of mercury biogeochemistry in marine sediment, water, and zooplankton in Sinclair Inlet. Mercury, iron, and sulfur species in sediment porewater from six sites within and three sites outside of Sinclair Inlet were measured to provide insight into the processes that produce methylmercury in the sediments. Total mercury, methylmercury, dissolved organic carbon, and redox‑sensitive species were measured in porewaters in the top 2 centimeters of sediment, and these data were paired with sedimentary flux measurements from core incubation experiments to connect sedimentary processes to the water column. A broad-scale study of mercury methylation potential and mercury species at 20-plus stations in Sinclair Inlet was conducted in February 2009 and 2010, June 2009, and August 2009. Sedimentary flux measurements and analysis of mercury and biogeochemicals in sediment porewater and bottom water were made at six of the broad-scale stations. Bioaccumulation processes in the water column in the context of the sedimentary flux of methylmercury were examined using monthly survey data collected between August 2008 and August 2009. The survey data included concentrations of methylmercury and isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen in bulk zooplankton measured at four stations in Sinclair Inlet in the context of the population of bulk zooplankton ascertained by taxonomical identification. The analysis of filtered total mercury, total particulate mercury, filtered methylmercury, particulate methylmercury, chlorophyll a, isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in suspended matter, and other biogeochemical data will facilitate the examination of the biogeochemistry of mercury in Sinclair Inlet.

First posted February 21, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Washington Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
934 Broadway, Suite 300
Tacoma, Washington 98402
http://wa.water.usgs.gov

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Suggested citation:

Huffman, R.L., Wagner, R.J., Toft, J., Cordell, J., DeWild, J.F., Dinicola, R.S., Aiken, G.R., Krabbenhoft, D.P., Marvin-DiPasquale, M., Stewart, A.R., Moran, P.W., and Paulson, A.J., 2012, Mercury species and other selected constituent concentrations in water, sediment, and biota of Sinclair Inlet, Kitsap County, Washington, 2007–10: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 658, 64 p.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Description of Study Area

History of Remediation and Environmental Investigations Related to Mercury

Methods

Quality Assurance and Assessment of Data

Data

Acknowledgments

References Cited

Appendix A: Tables Describing Water and Sediment Sampling Stations and Fequency of Sampling for the Watershed Sources and Methylation and Bioaccumulation Projects, Sinclair Inlet, Washington

Appendix B: Quality Assurance and Assessment of Data Collected for Watershed Source Project

Appendix C. Quality Assurance and Assessment for Marine Sediment Collected for the Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project

Appendix D. Quality Assurance and Assessment for Marine Water Column Samples Collected for the Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project

Appendix E. Data Tables of Total and Particulate Mercury and Selected Constituents for Freshwater Inputs to Sinclair Inlet and Vicinity, Water Sources Project, Sinclair Inlet, Washington

Appendix F. Data Tables of Methylmercury and Selected Constituents for Freshwater Inputs to Sinclair Inlet and Vicinity, Watershed Sources Project, Sinclair Inlet, Washington

Appendix G. Data Tables of Total Mercury, Methylmercury, and Selected Constituents in Marine Sediments and Porewaters of Sinclair Inlet, Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project, Sinclair Inlet, Washington, Summer 2008

Appendix H. Data Tables of Total Mercury, Methylmercury, and Selected Constituents in Marine Sediments and Porewaters of Sinclair Inlet, Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project, Sinclair Inlet, Washington, Fall 2008

Appendix I. Data Tables of Total Mercury and Methylmercury, and Selected Constituents, in Marine Sediments and Porewaters of Sinclair Inlet, Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project, Sinclair Inlet, Washington, Winter 2008–10

Appendix J. Data Tables of Total Mercury, Methylmercury, and Selected Constituents in Marine Sediments and Porewaters of Sinclair Inlet, Methylation and Bioaccumulation Project, Sinclair Inlet, Washington, Spring 2009


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