New Jersey Water Science Center

Organic Compounds, Trace Elements, Suspended Sediment, and Field Characteristics at the Heads-of-Tide of the Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, and Elizabeth Rivers, New Jersey, 2000-03

Prepared in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

By Jennifer L. Bonin and Timothy P. Wilson

Data Series 123

Thumbnail of report cover

This publication is downloadable in PDF format.

To view or print PDF files, the freely downloadable Adobe Acrobat Reader® may be used.

Data tables not included in the PDF report are also available for download as a ZIP archive.


Concentrations of suspended sediment, particulate and dissolved organic carbon, trace elements, and organic compounds were measured in samples from the heads-of-tide of the five tributaries to the Newark and Raritan Bays during June 2000 to June 2003. The samples were collected as part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Toxics Reduction Workplan/Contaminant Assessment Reduction Program. Samples of streamwater were collected at water-quality sampling stations constructed near U.S. Geological Survey gaging stations on the Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, and Elizabeth Rivers. Sampling was conducted during base-flow conditions and storms. Constituent concentrations were measured to determine the water quality and to calculate the load of sediment and contaminants contributed to the bays from upstream sources.

Water samples were analyzed for suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon, particulate organic carbon, and specific conductance. Samples of suspended sediment and water were analyzed for 98 distinct polychlorinated biphenyl congeners, 7 dioxins, 10 furans, 27 pesticides, 26 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and the trace elements cadmium, lead, mercury, and methyl-mercury. Measurements of ultra-low concentrations of organic compounds in sediment and water were obtained by collecting 1 to 3 grams of suspended sediment on glass fiber filters and by passing at least 20 liters of filtered water through XAD-2 resin. The extracted sediment and XAD-2 resin were analyzed for organic compounds by high- and low-resolution gas chromatography mass-spectrometry that uses isotope dilution procedures. Trace elements in filtered and unfiltered samples were analyzed for cadmium, lead, mercury, and methyl-mercury by inductively coupled charged plasma and mass-spectrometry.

All constituent concentrations are raw data. Interpretation of the data will be completed in the second phase of the study.




Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Description of data

Methods of Sample Collection and Analysis

Field Methods

Sampling-Station Equipment

Sampler Configuration

Quality-Assurance Samples

Sample Handling

Laboratory Methods

Organic Compounds, Trace Elements, Suspended Sediment, and Field and Other Selected Characteristics

Organic Compounds and Trace Elements

Qualifiers and Detection Limits

Co-elutions of Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Quality Assurance and Quality Control Samples

Suspended Sediment, Organic Carbon, and Nitrogen

Field Characteristics

Calculation of Concentrations from Analytical Results

Normalized Concentrations

Particulate Organic Carbon Normalized Concentrations in Sediment

Concentrations in composite samples

Trace-element concentrations in sediment from grab samples

Data Evaluation

Analysis of Standard Reference Materials Results

Estimation of Uncertainty in Concentrations

Error in the Calculation of Dissolved Concentrations

Error in the Calculation of Constituent Concentrations in the Particulate Phase

Limitations of the Data



References Cited

Download: PDF of DS-123 (1.7Mb)

Download: ZIP archive of select data tables for DS-123 (613Kb)

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: USGS Publishing Network
Last modified: Thursday, March 29 2007, 02:16:51 PM
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button