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Diel cycles in dissolved metal concentrations in streams: Occurrence and possible causes

Water Resources Research

By:
, , , , , and
https://doi.org/10.1029/2002WR001571

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Abstract

Substantial diel (24‐hour) cycles in dissolved (0.1‐μm filtration) metal concentrations were observed during low flow for 18 sampling episodes at 14 sites on 12 neutral and alkaline streams draining historical mining areas in Montana and Idaho. At some sites, concentrations of Cd, Mn, Ni, and Zn increased as much as 119, 306, 167, and 500%, respectively, from afternoon minimum values to maximum values shortly after sunrise. Arsenic concentrations exhibited the inverse temporal pattern with increases of up to 54%. Variations in Cu concentrations were small and inconsistent. Diel metal cycles are widespread and persistent, occur over a wide range of metal concentrations, and likely are caused primarily by instream geochemical processes. Adsorption is the only process that can explain the inverse temporal patterns of As and the divalent metals. Diel metal cycles have important implications for many types of water‐quality studies and for understanding trace‐metal mobility.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Diel cycles in dissolved metal concentrations in streams: Occurrence and possible causes
Series title:
Water Resources Research
DOI:
10.1029/2002WR001571
Volume:
39
Issue:
9
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Description:
Article 1247; 17 p.
First page:
2-1
Last page:
2-17