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Data Series 516

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Total Mercury, Methylmercury, and Selected Elements in Soils of the Fishing Brook Watershed, Hamilton County, New York, and the McTier Creek Watershed, Aiken County, South Carolina, 2008

By Laurel G. Woodruff, William F. Cannon, Christopher D. Knightes, Francis H. Chapelle, Paul M. Bradley, Douglas A. Burns, Mark E. Brigham, and Mark A. Lowery

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Mercury is an element of on-going concern for human and aquatic health. Mercury sequestered in upland and wetland soils represents a source that may contribute to mercury contamination in sensitive ecosystems. An improved understanding of mercury cycling in stream ecosystems requires identification and quantification of mercury speciation and transport dynamics in upland and wetland soils within a watershed. This report presents data for soils collected in 2008 from two small watersheds in New York and South Carolina. In New York, 163 samples were taken from multiple depths or soil horizons at 70 separate locations near Fishing Brook, located in Hamilton County. At McTier Creek, in Aiken County, South Carolina, 81 samples from various soil horizons or soil depths were collected from 24 locations. Sample locations within each watershed were selected to characterize soil geochemistry in distinct land-cover compartments. Soils were analyzed for total mercury, selenium, total and carbonate carbon, and 42 other elements. A subset of the samples was also analyzed for methylmercury.

First posted August 17, 2010

  • Report PDF (1.6 MB)
  • Table 3 (160-KB Excel file)
  • Table 4 (50-KB Excel file; some latitude coordinates corrected April 14, 2011)

For additional information contact:
Laurel Woodruff
U.S. Geological Survey
Eastern Minerals and Environmental Science Center
2280 Woodale Drive
Mounds View, MN 55112

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Woodruff, L.G., Cannon, W.F., Knightes, C.D., Chapelle, F.H., Bradley, P.M., Burns, D.A., Brigham, M.E., and Lowery, M.A., 2010, Total mercury, methylmercury, and selected elements in soils of the Fishing Brook watershed, Hamilton County, New York, and the McTier Creek watershed, Aiken County, South Carolina, 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 516, 10 p.




Methods of Investigation

Soil Sampling

Soil-Sample Analyses

Total Mercury, Methylmercury, and Selected Elements in Soils

References Cited

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