Organochlorines, semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and trace elements were investigated in streambed sediments and fish tissues at selected sites in the Cook Inlet Basin, Alaska, during 1998. At most sites, SVOCs and organochlorine compounds were either not detected or detected at very low concentrations. Chester Creek at Arctic Boulevard at Anchorage, which was the only site sampled with a significant degree of development in the watershed, had elevated levels of many SVOCs in streambed sediment. Coring of sediments from two ponds on Chester Creek confirmed the presence of elevated concentrations of a variety of organic compounds. Moose Creek, a stream with extensive coal deposits in its watershed, had low concentrations of numerous SVOCs in streambed sediment. Three sites located in national parks or in a national wildlife refuge had no detectable concentrations of SVOCs.
Trace elements were analyzed in both streambed sediments and tissues of slimy sculpin. The two media provided similar evidence for elevated concentrations of cadmium, lead, and zinc at Chester Creek. In this study, 'probable effect levels '(PELs) were determined from sediments finer than 0.063 millimeters, where concentrations tend to be greatest. Arsenic and chromium concentrations exceeded the PEL at eight and six sites respectively. Zinc exceeded the PEL at one site. Cadmium and copper concentrations were smaller than the PEL at all sites. Mercury concentrations in streambed sediments from the Deshka River were near the PEL, and selenium concentrations at that site also appear to be elevated above background levels. At half the sites where slimy sculpin were sampled, selenium concentrations were at levels that may cause adverse effects in some species.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Selected organic compounds and trace elements in streambed sediments and fish tissues, Cook Inlet Basin, Alaska
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
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