USGS

Characterization of Bottom-Sediment, Water, and Elutriate Chemistry at Selected Stations at Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 90-4181

by Robert E. Broshears

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Abstract

To better-understand and predict the potential effect of dredging on water quality at Reelfoot Lake, chemical analyses were conducted on samples of lake water, bottom sediment, and elutriate water. Chemical analyses were conducted on samples of lake water, bottom sediment, and elutriate water collected at five stations in the lake during November 1988. Lake water was of the calcium magnesium bicarbonate type with an average dissolved-solids concentration of 120 milligrams per liter. Trace constituents were present in bottom sediments at concentrations representative of their average relative abundance in the earth’s crust. Elutriate waters prepared by mixing bottom sediment and lake water had suspended-solids concentrations as high as 2,000 milligrams per liter which exerted significant oxygen demand Trace constituents in the unfiltered elutriate waters were elevated with respect to lake water; elevated concentrations were attributable to the increased suspended-solids concentrations. Concentrations of total-recoverable copper, lead., and zinc in many elutriate waters exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s water-quality criteria for the protection of freshwater aquatic life. The toxicity of elutriate waters, as measured by a 48-hour bioassay with Ceriodaphnia dubia, was low.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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