Twenty-nine soil samples from 14 holes at 9 sites in part of the Big Soos Creek drainage basin in southwest King County, Washington, were collected and analyzed to obtain data on the magnitude and variability of background concentrations of metals in soils. Seven streambed-sediment samples and three streamwater samples from three sites also were collected and analyzed. These data are needed by regulating government agencies to determine if soils at sites of suspected contamination have elevated concentrations of metals, and to evaluate the effectiveness of remediation at sites with known contamination. Concentrations of 43 metals were determined by a total method, and concentrations of 17 metals were determined by a total-recoverable method and two different leaching methods. Metals analyzed for by all methods included most of those on the U.S. Environmental Protection agency list of priority pollutants, plus alluminum, iron, and manganese. Ranges of concentrations of metals determined by the total method are within ranges found by others for the conterminous United States. Concentrations of mercury, manganese, phosphorus, lead, selenium, antimony, and zinc as determined by the total method, and of some of these plus other metals as determined by the other methods were larger in shallow soil (less than 12 inches deep) than in deep soil (greater than 12 inches). Concentrations of metals in streambed sediments were more typical of shallow than deep soils.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Data and statistical summaries of background concentrations of metals in soils and streambed sediments in part of Big Soos Creek drainage basin, King County, Washington
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],