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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-793

Preliminary Estimates of Benthic Fluxes of Dissolved Metals in Coeur d’Alene Lake, Idaho

By Laurie S. Balistrieri


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This report presents porewater and selected water column data collected from Coeur d’Alene Lake in September of 1992. Despite probable oxidation of the porewater samples during collection and handling, these data are used to calculate molecular diffusive fluxes of dissolved metals (that is, Zn, Pb, Cu, and Mn) across the sediment-water interface. While these data and calculations provide preliminary information on benthic metal fluxes in Coeur d’Alene Lake, further work is needed to verify their direction and magnitude.

The benthic flux calculations indicate that the sediment is generally a source of dissolved Zn, Cu, Mn, and, possibly, Pb to the overlying water column. These benthic fluxes are compared with two other major sources of metals to Coeur d’Alene Lake—the Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe Rivers. Comparisons indicate that benthic fluxes of Zn, Pb, and Cu are generally less than half of the fluxes of these metals into the lake from the Coeur d’Alene River. However, in a few cases, the calculated benthic metal fluxes exceed the Coeur d’Alene River fluxes. Benthic fluxes of Zn and, possibly, Pb may be greater than the corresponding metal fluxes from the St. Joe River. These results have implications for changes in the relative importance of metal sources to the lake as remediation activities in the Coeur d’Alene River basin proceed.

Last modified October 12, 2010
First posted July 18, 2003

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact Information, Western Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center, Spokane Office
U.S. Geological Survey
904 W. Riverside Ave., Room 202
Spokane, WA 99201

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Suggested citation:

Balistrieri, Laurie S., 1998, Preliminary estimates of benthic fluxes of dissolved metals in Coeur d'Alene Lake, Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-793, 40 p.




Sampling and Analytical Methods



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