We studied the bioavailability and toxicity of copper, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, and lead in sediments from Lake Roosevelt (LR), a reservoir on the Columbia River in Washington, USA that receives inputs of metals from an upstream smelter facility. We characterized chronic sediment toxicity, metal bioaccumulation, and metal concentrations in sediment and pore water from eight study sites: one site upstream in the Columbia River, six sites in the reservoir, and a reference site in an uncontaminated tributary. Total recoverable metal concentrations in LR sediments generally decreased from upstream to downstream in the study area, but sediments from two sites in the reservoir had metal concentrations much lower than adjacent reservoir sites and similar to the reference site, apparently due to erosion of uncontaminated bank soils. Concentrations of acid-volatile sulfide in LR sediments were too low to provide strong controls on metal bioavailability, and selective sediment extractions indicated that metals in most LR sediments were primarily associated with iron and manganese oxides. Oligochaetes (Lumbriculus variegatus) accumulated greatest concentrations of copper from the river sediment, and greatest concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, and lead from reservoir sediments. Chronic toxic effects on amphipods (Hyalella azteca; reduced survival) and midge larvae (Chironomus dilutus; reduced growth) in whole-sediment exposures were generally consistent with predictions of metal toxicity based on empirical and equilibrium partitioning-based sediment quality guidelines. Elevated metal concentrations in pore waters of some LR sediments suggested that metals released from iron and manganese oxides under anoxic conditions contributed to metal bioaccumulation and toxicity. Results of both chemical and biological assays indicate that metals in sediments from both riverine and reservoir habitats of Lake Roosevelt are available to benthic invertebrates. These findings will be used as part of an ongoing ecological risk assessment to determine remedial actions for contaminated sediments in Lake Roosevelt. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Additional Publication Details
Biological and chemical characterization of metal bioavailability in sediments from Lake Roosevelt, Columbia River, Washington, USA
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology