Annual fluxes of sediment-associated trace/major elements, carbon, nutrients, and sulfur from US coastal rivers

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About 260–270 Mt of suspended sediment are discharged annually from the conterminous USA; approximately 69% derives from Gulf rivers (n = 36), 24% from Pacific rivers (n = 42), and 7% from Atlantic rivers (n = 54). Elevated sediment-associated chemical concentrations relative to baseline levels occur in the reverse order of sediment discharges: Atlantic rivers (49%) > Pacific rivers (40%) > Gulf rivers (23%). Elevated trace element concentrations (e.g. Cu, Zn) tend to occur in association with present/former industrial areas and/or urban centres, particularly along the northeast Atlantic coast. Elevated nutrient concentrations occur along both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, but are dominated by rivers in the urban northeast and by southeastern and Gulf coast “blackwater” streams. Elevated Ca, Mg, K and Na levels appear to reflect local petrology whereas elevated Ti, S, Fe, and Al concentrations are ubiquitous, possibly because they have both natural and anthropogenic sources. Almost all the elevated sediment-associated chemical concentrations/fluxes are lower than worldwide averages.

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Annual fluxes of sediment-associated trace/major elements, carbon, nutrients, and sulfur from US coastal rivers
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher International Association of Hydrological Sciences
Contributing office(s) Georgia Water Science Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Erosion and sediment yields in the changing environment : proceedings of an IAHS International Commission on Continental Erosion symposium held at the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS-Chengdu, China, 11-15 October 2012
First page 39
Last page 48
Conference Title 2012 International Commission on Continental Erosion (ICCE) International Symposium
Conference Location Chengdu, China
Conference Date October 11-15, 2012
Country United States
Other Geospatial United States coastal rivers
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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