Source: UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA submitted to
MERCURY SOURCES AND METHYL MERCURY PRODUCTION IN NEVADA STREAMS AND RIVERS
Sponsoring Institution
State Agricultural Experiment Station
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0187502
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
NEV052IF
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Aug 1, 1999
Project End Date
Dec 31, 2003
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Gustin, M.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA
(N/A)
RENO,NV 89557
Performing Department
NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Non Technical Summary
(N/A)
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
50%
Applied
50%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
13302101150100%
Knowledge Area
133 - Pollution Prevention and Mitigation;

Subject Of Investigation
0210 - Water resources;

Field Of Science
1150 - Toxicology;
Goals / Objectives
1)To determine the rates of methyl mercury production in various aquatic environments of Steamboat Creek. 2)To determine the mercury and methyl mercury concentrations in the waters of the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake.
Project Methods
Objective 1) Sediment and surface water samples collected from representative environments(channel, bank ,wetland) in Steamboat Creek will be used in microcosms to determine net methylation and demethylation rate. Analysis of total mercury and extratable mercury in sediments will provide a means of validation of the data extrapolation. The same will be done for the demethylation reaction. Objective 2) Filtered and unfiltered total and methyl mercury concentrations in waters of the Truckee River will be measured above the confluence of Steamboat Creek and below at three sites. Water samples will be collected twice a year during high and low flow periods. This objective will demonstrate our capability to determine methyl mercury as well as provide a preliminary data base which may be used to seek competitve funding.

Progress 08/01/99 to 12/31/03

Outputs
This project terminated in Year 2002. However the methods developed with this funding continue to be used and have greatly expanded the research capabilities of my laboratory.

Impacts
This project has allowed us to expand our analytical capabilities to measure methyl mercury in water, sediments and biological material. This has resulted in subcontracts with local governments and funding from nationally competative programs.

Publications

  • Stamenkovic, J., Gustin, M.S., Marvin-DiPasquale, M. C., Thomas, B.A., Agee, J.L. 2004 Distribution of Total and Methyl Mercury in Sediments along Steamboat Creek, the Science of the Total Environment, in press. (NAES # 52031394)
  • Stamenkovic, J., Gustin, M.S., Dennett, K. 2004 Net methyl mercury production and water quality improvement in constructed wetlands at Steamboat Creek, Nevada Submitted to Wetland Ecology and Management


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
This project focused on developing and demonstrating the capabilities of the Department of Environmental and Resource Sciences at UNR to measure methyl mercury and methyl mercury production rates in the Truckee River Watershed. Funding for the original proposal was 100K total direct costs and it was reduced to 25K. Despite the budget setback with funding from additional sources we were able to meet major goals. The capability to measure methyl mercury in all media was developed and has been applied to samples collected from the Truckee River watershed. The methods were developed with training and collaboration with the premier laboratory for mercury analyses in the country, Frontier Geosciences. Three graduate students have been trained in methyl mercury analytical methods and a fourth has just come on board to follow in their footsteps. These three students have all participated in sample collection, sample analyses and data processing. One student has published results in her thesis and one peer reviewed journal article, listed below, and graduated, and two students are in the process of compiling data and writing thesis and papers for peer reviewed journals. Information derived from this project has been presented at one national meeting in 2002 and a local meeting on water quality, and will be presented in two national meetings in 2003.

Impacts
One graduate student analyzed the concentration in plants and found that up to 3% of the mercury in plants in methyl mercury. This is a significant finding for the plant species was deciduous and their leaves will be deposited to the forest floor each year. Another Masters candidate is characterizing the sources and loads of total and methyl mercury in Steamboat Creek and the Truckee River. She has found that ponds, irrigation drainage water are sources of methyl mercury to the creek. She has also found seasonal variation in total and methyl mercury concentrations in the creek. She has clearly demonstrated that the Creek is a source of methyl and total mercury to the Truckee River. An additional Masters candidate measured methyl mercury concentrations and net methyl mercury production in constructed wetlands that use Steamboat Creek sediments and waters. Her research was focused on the potential for constructed wetlands on the mercury contaminated Steamboat Creek and other similar watersheds to be net sources for methyl mercury for the water body receiving wetland waters. The latter two studies will have significant implications for streambank restoration planning for Steamboat Creek and flood control planning that is on going for the Truckee River.

Publications

  • Benesch, J.A. Gustin, M.S., Schorran, D.E., Johnson, D.W., Lindberg, S.E. Coleman, 2003J.S. Accumulation of atmospheric mercury in forest foliage, Atmospheric Environment, in press.


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
Methyl and total mercury in sediments and waters of Steamboat Creek and the Truckee River are being determined as a function of season and flow regime. Methyl mercury production in a constructed wetland using waters and sediments from the mercury contaminated Steamboat Creek are currently being monitored seasonally. Methylation and demethylation rates are to be determined in collaboration with U.S.G.S. in five sediment samples within the next couple months from the creek and the wetland. Two graduate students are working on this project.

Impacts
Nevada has four main river systems that terminate within it boundaries, the Humboldt, the Walker, the Truckee and the Carson. These river systems and their terminal lakes and wetland are critical habitats for the people and wildlife of Nevada. All of these river systems are affected by mercury contamination. This project focuses on developing the capability to measure methyl mercury concentrations and production. Methyl mercury is the more toxic form of mercury which affects the neurological system and may be bioaccumulated. Understanding those environments where methyl mercury is most likely to be produced is important for protection of aquatic ecosystems and human health within the state. As the state continues to grow and populations encroach upon these aquatic systems, the potential for anthropogenic exacerbation of mercury contamination issues must be addressed. This project provides for beginning to develop the necessary laboratory capabilities to understand processes that may affect methyl mercury production.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
All equipment and chemicals have been purchased for the measurement of methyl mercury. A graduate student has been hired to develop the methods required to measure methyl mercury concentrations and production for this project.

Impacts
Nevada has four main river systems that terminate within it boundaries, the Humboldt, the Walker, the Truckee and the Carson. These river systems and their terminal lakes and wetland are critical habitats for the people and wildlife of Nevada. All of these river systems are affected by mercury contamination. This project focuses on developing the capability to measure methyl mercury concentrations and production. Methyl mercury is the more toxic form of mercury which affects the neurological system and may be bioaccumulated. Understanding those environments where methyl mercury is most likely to be produced is important for protection of aquatic ecosystems and human health within the state. As the state continues to grow and populations encroach upon these aquatic systems, the potential for anthropogenic exacerbation of mercury contamination issues must be addressed. This project provides for beginning to develop the necessary laboratory capabilities to understand processes that may affect methyl mercury production.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period