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U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5090

Vertical Distribution of Trace-Element Concentrations and Occurrence of Metallurgical Slag Particles in Accumulated Bed Sediments of Lake Roosevelt, Washington, September 2002

Prepared in cooperation with the
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

By S.E. Cox, P.B. Bell, J.S. Lowther, and P.C. VanMetre

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Table of Contents

Conversion Factors, Datums, Abbreviations, and Acronyms

Abstract

Introduction

Data Collection and Analysis

Accumulated Sediments in Lake Roosevelt

Trace Elements in Pore Water and Sediment

Metallurgical Slag in Sediments of Lake Roosevelt

Relative Impacts of Slag and Liquid Effluent Discharge on Trace-Element Concentrations in Bed Sediment

Summary and Conclusions

References Cited

Figures

Figure 1. Location of study area and sediment-core collection sites on Lake Roosevelt and the upper Columbia River, Washington.

Figure 2. Concentrations of selected trace elements in suspended sediment from the Columbia River at Northport, Washington, and in Lake Roosevelt shoreline bank materials.

Figure 3. Vertical distribution of cesium-137 concentrations in sediment cores from Lake Roosevelt, Washington, September 2002.

Figure 4. Vertical distribution of trace-element concentrations in selected sediment cores from Lake Roosevelt, Washington, September 2002.

Figure 5. Ratios of cadmium to mercury and zinc to lead in samples from sediment cores from Lake Roosevelt, Washington, September 2002.

Figure 6. Vertical distribution of trace-element concentrations in six sediment cores from Lake Roosevelt, Washington, September 2002.

Figure 7. History of slag and trace elements in liquid effluent discharged to Columbia River by Trail smelter, British Columbia, 1940-2000.

Figure 8. Vertical distribution of concentrations of dissolved arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in pore waters from sediment core sampling sites CCR-668, CCR-692, and CCR-705, Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Figure 9. Concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in whole sediment and leached residual (following extraction with hydroxylamine hydrochloride) from sediment core sampling sites CCR-668 and CCR-705, Lake Roosevelt, Washington, July 2003.

Figure 10. Black sand beach composed of 70 to 90 percent slag particles deposited near Columbia River gaging station at river mile 743, Washington.

Figure 11. Slag particles (RS-743) identified in sediment from Lake Roosevelt and the upper Columbia River, Washington.

Figure 12. Scanning electron microscope (backscatter images) of unweathered slag particles from Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Figure 13. Trace-element concentrations determined by SEM/EDS of slag particle (sample RSS-743) and reported concentrations from previous studies determined by acid digestion and instrumental analysis, Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Figure 14. Trace-element concentrations determined by SEM/EDS of recently deposited slag particles and slag grains from core sediments, Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Figure 15. Scanning electron microscopic (backscatter images) of weathered slag particles from Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Figure 16. Trace-element concentrations determined by SEM/EDS of outer surface of slag particles and inner surface exposed by removal of exfoliation flake, Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Tables

Table 1. Comparison of mean (N=3) element concentrations in riverbed sediments from upstream and downstream of the smelter at Trail, British Columbia, 1995 and 1999.

Table 2. Location and depth of six sediment cores and samples of riverine sediment with slag from Lake Roosevelt, Washington, September 10-13, 2002.

Table 3. Time horizons and sediment accumulation rates for six cores from Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Table 4. Summary of concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc in all sample core subsections from Lake Roosevelt, Washington.

Table 5. Vertical distribution of major and trace-element concentrations in sediment core subsections from Lake Roosevelt, Washington, September 2002.

Table 6. Analytical results for standard reference material and environmental duplicate samples for quality assurance.

Table 7. Vertical distribution of concentrations of selected trace elements and major ions in pore water, bulk sediment, and residual sediment from shallow cores from sites CCR-668, CCR-692, and CCR-705, Lake Roosevelt, Washington, July 2003.

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Send questions or comments about this report to the author, S.E. Cox , (253) 428-3600 ext. 2623.

For more information about USGS activities in Washington, visit the USGS Washington District home page .

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