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Quality of Sediment Discharging From the Barton Springs System, Austin, Texas, 2000-2002

In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Geological Survey
Fact Sheet 089-03

By B.J. Mahler


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Contents

Four spring outlets of the Barton Springs system provide the only known habitat for the Barton Springs salamander

Key Findings

The Barton Springs system

How we collect a suspended sediment sample ...

... and how it's analyzed

Hydrophobic, or "Water Fearing," Contaminants and Their Sources

Organochlorine Compounds

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Metals

Study Results and What They Mean

Organochlorine Compounds

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Metals

What Can We Conclude About Sediments Discharging From the Springs and Transported in Urban Creeks?

References Cited

Figures

1. Map showing location of Barton Springs system.

2. Map showing locations of sampling sites for suspended sediments in surface water.

3. Graphs showing the difference between concentrations of DDE and total PAH in suspended sediments discharging from the springs of the Barton Springs system and in runoff in nearby creeks.

4. Graphs showing comparison of concentrations of selected metals in suspended sediments discharging from springs and in surface streams.

5. Graphs showing correlation of concentrations of different metals to concentration of iron in suspended sediments indicates which samples might have an anthropogenic contribution.

Table

1. Concentrations of organic carbon, DDE, selected PAHs, and metals in suspended sediments discharging from the Barton Springs system



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