Six cores, ranging in length from 1 to 2 m, were collected in the Cheyenne River arm of Lake Oahe, South Dakota, to investigate potential impacts from gold-mining operations around Lead, South Dakota. Sedimentation rates in the river arm appear to be event-dominated and rapid, on the order of 6-7 cm yr.-1. All the chemical concentrations in the core samples fall within the wide ranges previously reported for the Pierre Shale of Cretaceous age and with the exception of As, generally are similar to bed sediment levels in the Cheyenne River, Lake Oahe and Foster Bay. Based on the downcore distribution of Mn, it appears that reducing conditions exist in the sediment column of the river arm below 2-3 cm. The reducing conditions do not appear to be severe enough to produce differentiation of Fe and Mn throughout the sediment column in the river arm. Cross-correlations for high-level metal-bearing strata within the sediment column can be made for several strata and for several cores; however, cross-correlations for all the high-level metal-bearing strata are not feasible. As is the only element which appears enriched in the core samples compared to surface sediment levels. Well-crystallized arsenopyrite was found in high-As bearing strata from two cores and probably was transported in that form from reducing sediment-storage sites in the banks or floodplains of Whitewood Creek and the Belle Fourche River. It has not oxidized due to the reducing conditions in the sediment column of the Cheyenne River arm. Some As may also be transported in association with Fe- and Mn-oxides and -hydroxides, remobilized under the reducing conditions in the river arm, and then reprecipitated in authigenic sulfide phases. In either case, the As appears to be relatively immobile in the sediment column. ?? 1988.
Additional publication details
The effect of mining on the sediment - trace element geochemistry of cores from the Cheyenne River arm of Lake Oahe, South Dakota, U.S.A.