[Keyword='Biological Data Profile']
Selected Elements and Organic Chemicals in Bed Sediment and Fish Tissue of the Tualatin River Basin, Oregon, 1992-96.Entry ID: WRIR_99_4107
Abstract: Selected Elements and Organic Chemicals in Bed Sediment and Fish Tissue of the
Tualatin River Basin, Oregon, 1992-96.Denny Road). Concentrations of total
chlordane, dieldrin, and p,p'-DDE in sediment at these sites exceeded USEPA
Tier 2 screening values. Concentrations of total chlordane in fish tissue
exceeded both the National Academy of Science/National Academy of Engineering
(NAS/NAE) ... guidelines and the New York State criteria. Organochlorine
concentrations were much lower downstream of these sites where the land use
changed to light industrial; concentrations of trace elements, however,
increased. The most contaminated bed sediment found in this study was collected
from the most urban site (Beaverton Creek at Cedar Hills Boulevard). USEPA
sediment screening values were exceeded for four organochlorine pesticides, six
polyaromatic PAHs, two phthalates, p-cresol, and eight metals (including
arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury). Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls in
the few fish found at this site exceeded the NAS/NAE guidelines for fish
The objectives of this study were to assess the occurrence and magnitude of
trace element and selected organic contaminants in streams of the Tualatin
River Basin, to compare contaminant levels found in Tualatin River Basin
streams with published guidelines for the protection of aquatic life, to place
the contaminant levels found in the Tualatin River Basin streams in context,
regionally and nationally, by comparing them with those found in the Willamette
Basin and by the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWGA) Program, to
compare contaminant concentrations in bed sediment with those in fish tissue,
and to identify contaminant patterns that would help managers make decisions
regarding future monitoring and the implementation of pollution prevention and
The area of study was the Tualatin River Basin.
Bed sediment samples were collected from 15 sites in the Tualatin Basin; fish
tissue samples were collected at 9 sites. Many of the sampled streams drain
largely urban areas that include a mixture of commercial and residential land.
Chicken, Dairy, and McKay Creeks are the only sampled streams with appreciable
agricultural land in their basins that do not also have significant urban
influences. Gales Creek drains mostly forested land and is minimally affected
by anthropogenic inputs; it represents background concentrations. At wadeable
sites, the top 1-2 cm of fine grained sediment was collected with a Teflon
scoop. Sediment was removed from several depositional areas within a reach and
composited. At nonwadeable sites (Tualatin River above Dairy Creek, and
Tualatin River at Elsner Road), the same approach was used, except that the
method was applied to sediment sections that had been obtained using an Eckman
dredge. In all cases, about 8 L of wet sediment was collected from each site.
The reach length sampled varied among sites from about 40 to 1,200 feet.
Sediment samples destined for organics analysis were sieved through a 2-mm
stainless steel sieve to remove twigs, pebbles, and other debris. Samples
destined for elemental analysis were sieved through a 63 micromillimeter nylon
screen to remove the sand fraction as well as a larger debris. Because trace
elements are not expected to significantly sorb to the sand-sized fraction,
sieving at 63 micromillimeters effectively "normalizes" samples to the size
fraction having the largest fraction of trace elements. Samples were kept at 4
degrees Centigrade until analysis. The sediment collection and preparation
method is described in detail by Shelton and Capel (1994).
Fish were collected by electrofishing and then euthanized by a sharp blow to
the head. Each sample contained 4-20 whole fish. All fish were sculpin.
Samples destined for elemental analysis were placed in resealable polyethylene
freezer bags; samples destined for organics analysis were wrapped in aluminum
foil. All samples were frozen until analysis. The fish were thawed,
homogenized, subsampled by the USGS Water Quality Laboratory.
Sediment samples were analyzed for major and minor elements, organochlorine
pesticides, pesticide metabolites, PCBs, and semivolatile organic compounds
such as PAHs, phthalates, and phenols. Fish tissue samples were analyzed for
major and minor elements, organochlorine pesticides, pesticide metabolites, and
PCBs. The chemical analyses and analytical methods are summarized in table 2
of Bernadine Bonn, Selected Elements and Organic Chemicals in Bed Sediment and
Fish Tissue of the Tualatin River Basin, Oregon, 1992-1996. In addition, for
sediment samples, organic carbon content and fraction of grain size less than
63 micrometers were determined; for fish samples, lipid content and moisture
content were determined. All analyses were performed by the USGS. Elemental
analyses of sediment were done by the Geologic Division Laboratory (Lakewood,
Colorado); sediment size fraction analyses were done by the laboratory at the
Cascades Volcano Observatory (Vancouver, Washington); all other analyses were
done by the National Water Quality Laboratory.
The information for this metadata was taken from the Online Publications of the
Oregon District at http://oregon.usgs.gov/pubs_dir/online_list.html .
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Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Bernadine Bonn, U.S. Geological Survey
Dataset Title: Selected Elements and Organic Chemicals in Bed Sediment and Fish Tissue of the Tualatin River Basin, Oregon, 1992-1996.
Dataset Release Date: 1999
Dataset Release Place: Portland, Oregon
Dataset Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey
Data Presentation Form: database
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