To assess the extent of sediment contamination in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) system after the flood of 1993, sediment samples were collected from 24 of the 26 navigational pools in the river and from one site in the Saint Croix River in the summer of 1994. Whole-sediment tests were conducted with the amphipod Hyalella azteca for 28 days measuring the effects on survival, growth, and sexual maturation. Amphipod survival was significantly reduced in only one sediment (13B) relative to the control and reference sediments. Body length of amphipods was significantly reduced relative to the control and reference sediments in only one sample (26C). Sexual maturation was not significantly reduced in any treatment when compared to the control and reference sediments. No significant correlations were observed between survival, growth, and maturation to either the physical or chemical characteristics of the sediment samples from the river. When highly reliable effect range medians (ERMs) were used to evaluate sediment chemistry, 47 of 49 (96%) of the samples were correctly classified as nontoxic. These results indicate that sediment samples from the Upper Mississippi River are relatively uncontaminated compared to other areas of known contamination in the United States.
Additional Publication Details
Assessing sediment toxicity from navigational pools of the Upper Mississippi River using a 28-day Hyalella azteca test
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology