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Data Series 206

National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Chemical Constituents in Sediment in Lake Pontchartrain and in Street Mud and Canal Sediment in New Orleans, Louisiana, Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2005

By Peter C. Van Metre, Jennifer T. Wilson, Arthur J. Horowitz, Stanley C. Skrobialowski, William T. Foreman, Christopher C. Fuller, Mark R. Burkhardt, Kent A. Elrick, Barbara J. Mahler, James J. Smith, and Steven D. Zaugg

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Samples of street mud, suspended and bottom sediment in canals discharging to Lake Ponchartrain, and suspended and bottom sediment in the lake were collected and analyzed for chemical constituents to help evaluate the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the subsequent unwatering of New Orleans, Louisiana. The approach used for sampling and analysis of chemical data for the study is presented herein. Radionuclides, major and trace elements, and numerous organic compounds in sediment were analyzed. The organic compounds include organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, urban waste indicator compounds, and current-use pesticides. Methods for the analysis of urban waste indicator compounds and current-use pesticides in sediment were developed only recently.

Suggested citation:

Van Metre, P.C., Wilson, J.T., Horowitz, A.J., Skrobialowski, S.C., Foreman, W.T., Fuller, C.C., Burkhardt, M.R., Elrick, K.A., Mahler, B.J., Smith, J.J., and Zaugg, S.D., 2007, Chemical constituents in sediment in Lake Pontchartrain and in street mud and canal sediment in New Orleans, Louisiana, following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 206, 159 p.





Sampling Methods

Analytical Methods


Major and Trace Elements

Organic Compounds

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Urban Waste Indicator Compounds

Current-Use Pesticides

Summary of Chemical Constituents in Sediment

References Cited

For additional information contact:
Director, Texas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
8027 Exchange Drive
Austin, Texas 78754-4733
World Wide Web:
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