Development of a Benthic-Flux Chamber for Measurement of Ground-Water Seepage and Water Sampling for Mercury Analysis at the Sediment-Water Interface

By M.A. Menheer

Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5298

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health


A benthic-flux chamber was constructed to collect data to determine the relation between ground- and surface-water interaction and mercury concentrations in water at the sediment- water interface. The benthic-flux chamber was successfully used to measure the rate of ground water seeping to surface water or surface water seeping to ground water, and to collect water samples for mercury analysis from the sedimentwater interface in a lake setting. The benthic-flux chamber was designed to be deployed in relatively calm fresh water lakes, in areas of water less than 2 meters deep. The groundwater seepage rate data were comparable to data from an in-line flow meter in a calibration tank and with data from two 55-gallon drum seepage meters concurrently deployed in two different lakes. The benthic-flux chamber was used to collect possible water samples for analysis of total mercury and methylmercury concentrations.




Purpose and Scope


Description of the flux chamber


Seepage measurements

Water sampling

Measurement of ground-water seepage and water sampling

Seepage measurements

Water sampling

Potential improvements to the flux chamber




Suggested Citation:

Menheer, M.A., 2004, Development of a bethic-flux chamber for measurement of ground-water seepage and water sampling for mercury analysis at the sediment-water interface: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigation Report 2004-5298, 14 p.

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