Mercury is an element of on-going concern for human and aquatic health. Mercury sequestered in upland and wetland soils represents a source that may contribute to mercury contamination in sensitive ecosystems. An improved understanding of mercury cycling in stream ecosystems requires identification and quantification of mercury speciation and transport dynamics in upland and wetland soils within a watershed. This report presents data for soils collected in 2008 from two small watersheds in New York and South Carolina. In New York, 163 samples were taken from multiple depths or soil horizons at 70 separate locations near Fishing Brook, located in Hamilton County. At McTier Creek, in Aiken County, South Carolina, 81 samples from various soil horizons or soil depths were collected from 24 locations. Sample locations within each watershed were selected to characterize soil geochemistry in distinct land-cover compartments. Soils were analyzed for total mercury, selenium, total and carbonate carbon, and 42 other elements. A subset of the samples was also analyzed for methylmercury.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Total mercury, methylmercury, and selected elements in soils of the Fishing Brook watershed, Hamilton County, New York, and the McTier Creek watershed, Aiken County, South Carolina, 2008
U.S. Geological Survey
Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center