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Prepared in cooperation with the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project

Areal Distribution and Concentration of Contaminants of Concern in Surficial Streambed and Lakebed Sediments, Lake St. Clair and Tributaries, Michigan, 19902003

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5189

By Cynthia M. Rachol and Daniel T. Button


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Abstract

As part of the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project, the U.S. Geological Survey evaluated data collected from surficial streambed and lakebed sediments in the Lake Erie-Lake St. Clair drainages. This study incorporates data collected from 1990 through 2003 and focuses primarily on the U.S. part of the Lake St. Clair Basin, including Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and tributaries to Lake St. Clair. Comparable data from the Canadian part of the study area are included where available. The data are compiled into 4 chemical classes and consist of 21 compounds. The data are compared to effects-based sediment-quality guidelines, where the Threshold Effect Level and Lowest Effect Level represent concentrations below which adverse effects on biota are not expected and the Probable Effect Level and Severe Effect Level represent concentrations above which adverse effects on biota are expected to be frequent.

 

Maps in the report show the spatial distribution of the sampling locations and illustrate the concentrations relative to the selected sediment-quality guidelines. These maps indicate that sediment samples from certain areas routinely had contaminant concentrations greater than the Threshold Effect Concentration or Lowest Effect Level. These locations are the upper reach of the St. Clair River, the main stem and mouth of the Clinton River, Big Beaver Creek, Red Run, and Paint Creek. Maps also indicated areas that routinely contained sediment contaminant concentrations that were greater than the Probable Effect Concentration or Severe Effect Level. These locations include the upper reach of the St. Clair River, the main stem and mouth of the Clinton River, Red Run, within direct tributaries along Lake St. Clair and in marinas within the lake, and within the Clinton River headwaters in Oakland County.

 

Although most samples collected within Lake St. Clair were from sites adjacent to the mouths of its tributaries, samples analyzed for trace-element concentrations were collected throughout the lake. The distribution of trace-element concentrations corresponded well with the results of a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of flow patterns from the Clinton River into Lake St. Clair. The model was developed independent from the bed sediment analysis described in this report; yet it showed a zone of deposition for outflow from the Clinton River into Lake St. Clair that corresponded well with the spatial distribution of trace-element concentrations. This zone runs along the western shoreline of Lake St. Clair from L'Anse Creuse Bay to St. Clair Shores, Michigan and is reflected in the samples analyzed for mercury and cadmium.

 

Statistical summaries of the concentration data are presented for most contaminants, and selected statistics are compared to effects-based sediment-quality guidelines. Summaries were not computed for dieldrin, chlordane, hexachlorocyclohexane, lindane, and mirex because insufficient data are available for these contaminants. A statistical comparison showed that the median concentration for hexachlorobenzene, anthracene, benz[a]anthracene, chrysene, and pyrene are greater than the Threshold Effect Concentration or Lowest Effect Level.

 

Probable Effect Concentration Quotients provide a mechanism for comparing the concentrations of contaminant mixtures against effects-based biota data. Probable Effect Concentration Quotients were calculated for individual samples and compared to effects-based toxicity ranges. The toxicity-range categories used in this study were nontoxic (quotients < 0.5) and toxic (quotients > 0.5). Of the 546 individual samples for which Probable Effect Concentration Quotients were calculated, 469 (86 percent) were categorized as being nontoxic and 77 (14 percent) were categorized as being toxic. Bed-sediment samples with toxic Probable Effect Concentration Quotients were collected from Paint Creek, Galloway Creek, the main stem of the Clinton River, Big Beaver Creek, Red Run, Clinton River towards the mouth, Lake St. Clair along the western shore, and the St. Clair River near Sarnia.


Citation:

Cynthia M. Rachol and Daniel T. Button, 2006, Areal Distribution and Concentration of Contaminants of Concern in Surficial Streambed and Lakebed Sediments, Lake St. Clair and Tributaries, Michigan, 1999–2003: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5189, 50 p. Date Posted: April 16, 2007.
[https://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir2006-5189/]

Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Study Analysis

Comparison with Sediment-Quality Guidelines

Depiction of Areal Distribution of Contaminants

Statistical Analysis

Calculation of Probable Effect Concentration Quotients

Magnitude and Areal Distribution of Sediment Contaminants in the Lake St. Clair Basin

Organochlorine Insecticides or Biocides

Total chlordane

Total DDT

Total dieldrin

Hexachlorobenzene

Total hexachlorocyclohexane

Lindane

Total mirex

Industrial Organochlorine Compounds

Total PCB

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Anthracene

Benz[a]anthracene

Benzo[a]pyrene

Chrysene

Phenanthrene

Pyrene

Total PAH

Trace Elements

Arsenic

Cadmium

Copper

Lead

Mercury

Zinc

Sediment Categories with Respect to the Probable Effect Concentration

Spatial Trends of Contaminants of Concern in Surficial Bed Sediments

Statistical Analysis of Contaminants of Concern in Surficial Bed Sediments

Categorizing Bed-Sediment Data by Means of Probable Effect Concentration Quotients

Summary and Conclusions

Acknowledgments

Selected References

 

Figures

 

1-26. Maps showing:

1. Location of Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River, Clinton River, Belle River, Pine River, and Black River drainage basins, Mich.

2. Land cover in the Clinton River, Belle River, Pine River, and Black River drainage basins, Mich.

3. Total chlordane concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

4. Total DDT concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

5. Total dieldrin concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

6. Hexachlorobenzene concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

7. Hexachlorocyclohexane concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basins, Mich.

8. Lindane concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

9. Mirex concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

10. Total PCB concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

11. Anthracene concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

12. Benz[a]anthracene concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

13. Benzo[a]pyrene concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

14. Chrysene concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

15. Phenanthrene concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

16. Pyrene concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

17. Total PAH concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

18. Location of Marshall Sandstone and Coldwater Shale in southeastern Mich.

19. Arsenic concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

20. Cadmium concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

21. Copper concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

22. Lead concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

23. Mercury concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

24. Zinc concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments relative to effect levels, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

25. Subbasins of the Clinton River and direct tributaries into Lake St. Clair used for comparions by sediment-concentration category.

26. Particle paths and zone of deposition delineated from 24 simulations of a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of outflows from the Clinton River into Lake St. Clair, Mich.

27-29. Graphs showing-

27. Organochlorine pesticides and industrial organochlorine concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

28. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

29. Trace element concentrations in streambed and lakebed sediments, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

30. Map showing probable effect concentration quotients calculated from bed-sediment sample analysis results, Lake St. Clair Basin, Mich.

 

Tables

  1. Selected sediment-quality guidelines for freshwater bed sediment that have been observed or predicted to be associated with adverse effects on benthic macroinvertebrates
  2. Number of samples collected for analysis of each chemical constituent, number of samples with detections, and range of detected concentrations
  3. Level and frequencies of bed-sediment contamination in Lake St. Clair and seven subbasins in the Clinton River Basin
  4. Selected summary statistics and effect-level concentrations for contaminants of concern

For additional information, contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center
6520 Mercantile Way, Suite 5
Lansing, MI 48911-5991
GS-W-MIlns_DC@usgs.gov
or visit our Web site at:
http://mi.water.usgs.gov

 


U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL: https://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir2006-5189
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