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Metals, pesticides, and semivolatile organic compounds in sediment in Valley Forge National Historical Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4120

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Abstract

The Schuylkill River flows through Valley Forge National Historical Park in Lower Providence and West Norriton Townships in Montgomery County, Pa. The concentration of selected metals, pesticides, semivolatile organic compounds, and total carbon in stream-bottom sediments from Valley Forge National Historical Park were determined for samples collected once at 12 sites in and around the Schuylkill River. Relatively low concentrations of arsenic, chromium, copper, and lead were detected in all samples. The concentrations of these metals are similar to concentrations in other stream-bottom sediment samples collected in the region. The concentrations of iron, manganese, and zinc were elevated in samples from four sites in the Schuylkill River, and the concentration of mercury was elevated in a sample from an impoundment along the river. The organophosphorus insecticide diazinon was detected in relatively low concentrations in half of the 12 samples analyzed. The organo-chlorine insecticide DDE was detected in all 12 samples analyzed; dieldrin was detected in 10 samples, chlordane, DDD, and DDT were detected in 9 samples, and heptachlor epoxide was detected in one sample. The concentrations of organo-chlorine and organophosphorus insecticides were relatively low and similar to concentrations in samples collected in the region. Detectable concentrations of 17 semivolatile organic compounds were measured in the 12 samples analyzed. The most commonly detected compounds were fluoranthene, phenanthrene, and pyrene. The maximum concentration detected was 4,800 micrograms per kilogram of phenanthrene. The highest concentrations of compounds were detected in Lamb Run, a small tributary to the Schuylkill River with headwaters in an industrial corporate center. The concentration of compounds in the Schuylkill River below Lamb Run is higher than the Schuylkill River above Lamb Run, indicating that sediment from Lamb Run is increasing the concentration of semivolatile organic compounds in sediment from the Schuylkill River. Concentrations of semivolatile organic compounds are lower in sediment from the Schuylkill River below Myer?s Run than above Myer?s Run because of the addition of relatively clean sediment from Myer?s Run. Samples collected from the floodplain, impounding basin, and wetland along the Schuylkill River contained the lowest concen-trations of semivolatile organic compounds. Detectable concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB?s) were measured in 11 of the 12 samples analyzed. The maximum PCB concentration was 37 micrograms per kilogram. Sediment samples from Lamb Run contained the highest concentrations of semivolatile organic compounds and PCB?s.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Metals, pesticides, and semivolatile organic compounds in sediment in Valley Forge National Historical Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
97-4120
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1997
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
v, 18 p. :maps ;28 cm.