Fallout radionuclides, 7Be and 210Pbex, sampled in bed sediment for 99 watersheds in the Midwestern region of the United States and in 15 samples of suspended sediment from 3 of these watersheds were used to partition upland from channel sources and to estimate the age or the time since the surface-derived portion of sediment was on the land surface (0–∼1 year). Channel sources dominate: 78 of the 99 bed material sites (79%) have >50% channel-derived sediment, and 9 of the 15 suspended-sediment samples (60%) have >50% channel-derived sediment. 7Be was detected in 82 bed sediment samples and all 15 suspended-sediment samples. The surface-derived portion of 54 of the 80 (68%) streams with detectable 7Be and 210Pbex were ≤ 100 days old and the surface-derived portion of all suspended-sediment samples were ≤ 100 days old, indicating that surface-derived fine-grained sediment moves rapidly though these systems. The concentrations of two hydrophobic pesticides–DDE and bifenthrin–are correlated with the proportion of surface-derived sediment, indicating a link between geomorphic processes and particle-associated contaminants in streams. Urban areas had the highest pesticide concentrations and the largest percentage of surface-derived sediment. Although the percentage of surface-derived sediment is less than channel sources at most of the study sites, the relatively young age of the surface-derived sediment might indicate that management actions to reduce sediment contamination where the land surface is an important source could have noticeable effects.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Sources and ages of fine-grained sediment to streams using fallout radionuclides in the Midwestern United States|
|Series title||Journal of Environmental Management|
|Contributing office(s)||Maryland Water Science Center|
|State||Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin|