thumbnail

Sediment-deposition rates and organic compounds in bottom sediment at four sites in Lake Mead, Nevada, May 1998

Open-File Report 2001-282

By:
and

Links

Abstract

In May 1998 the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, investigated rates of sediment deposition and concentrations of selected synthetic organic compounds at four sites in Lake Mead. Sediment cores were extracted from two sites (one shallow and one deep) in Las Vegas Bay, from one site in the Overton Arm, and from one site near the historic confluence of the Colorado and Virgin Rivers. The sediment cores were age-dated using cesium-137 and were analyzed for the presence of organochlorine compounds (pesticides and degradation products, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, and furans) and for semivolatile organic compounds (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and phenols). Sediment-deposition rates after impoundment of the Colorado River by Hoover Dam were determined by measuring the accumulation of mass during three different periods: (1) from the approximate impoundment date for each site (1935-37) to the initial occurrence of cesium-137 in the atmosphere (1952); (2) from 1952 to the maximum concentration of cesium-137 in the atmosphere (1964); and (3) from 1964 to the collection date of the sample (1998). Sediment-deposition rates for the entire post-impoundment period (1935-98) averaged 1.45 (g/cm2)/yr (grams per square centimeter per year) at the Las Vegas Bay shallow site, 1.25 (g/cm2)/yr at the Las Vegas Bay deep site, 0.80 (g/cm2)/yr at the Overton Arm site, and 0.65 (g/cm2)/yr at the Colorado and Virgin Rivers confluence site. Sediment-deposition rates after impoundment of the Colorado River by Hoover Dam were determined by measuring the accumulation of mass during three different periods: (1) from the approximate impoundment date for each site (1935-37) to the initial occurrence of cesium-137 in the atmosphere (1952); (2) from 1952 to the maximum concentration of cesium-137 in the atmosphere (1964); and (3) from 1964 to the collection date of the sample (1998). Sediment-deposition rates for the entire post-impoundment period (1935-98) averaged 1.45 (g/cm2)/yr (grams per square centimeter per year) at the Las Vegas Bay shallow site, 1.25 (g/cm2)/yr at the Las Vegas Bay deep site, 0.80 (g/cm2)/yr at the Overton Arm site, and 0.65 (g/cm2)/yr at the Colorado and Virgin Rivers confluence site. Total numbers of synthetic organic compounds detected in sediment samples were 48 at the Las Vegas Bay shallow site, 57 at the Las Vegas Bay deep site, 26 at the Overton Arm site, and 31 at the Colorado and Virgin Rivers confluence site. The most commonly detected organochlorine pesticide and polychlorinated biphenyl compounds were dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene. The most commonly detected dioxin compounds were tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and octochlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. The most commonly detected furan compounds were tetrachlorodibenzofuran and octochlorodibenzofuran. The most commonly detected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons included perylene, benzo[g,h,i]perylene, 2,6-dimethylnaphthalene, and indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene. The most commonly detected phenol compound was phenol.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Sediment-deposition rates and organic compounds in bottom sediment at four sites in Lake Mead, Nevada, May 1998
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2001-282
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2001
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
34 p.