Trace elements were analyzed in streambed sediment and fish livers in part of the Upper Mississippi River Basin as part of the U.S. Geological Survey?s National Water-Quality Assessment Program. The purpose of this report was to describe the occurrence and distribution of trace elements, describe the relations of concentrations measured to natural and anthropogenic factors, and describe any relation between concentrations in streambed sediment and fish livers. The study unit included the part of the Upper Mississippi River Basin from the river?s source in northern Minnesota to the outlet of Lake Pepin, a natural lake on the river located near Red Wing, Minnesota. Streambed sediment samples were collected from 27 sites located throughout the study unit, and fish were obtained from 25 sites. The occurrence and distribution of trace elements in streambed sediment were related to land use and the composition of surficial glacial deposits covering the study unit. Concentrations of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc in streambed sediment were primarily related to urban land use. Concentrations of these elements generally were greatest in streambed sediment collected at sites within or near urban areas in the study unit. The greatest concentrations of most of these elements were measured in streambed sediment obtained from Shingle Creek. Lead concentrations in streambed sediment Shingle Creek increased in the downstream direction. This pattern probably reflects the past use of leaded gasoline, pesticides, or paints.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Water-Quality Assessment of Part of the Upper Mississippi River Basin, Minnesota and Wisconsin: Trace Elements in Streambed Sediment and Fish Livers, 1995-96