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Extreme Precipitation Appears a Key Driver of Mercury Transport from the Watershed to Cottage Grove Reservoir, Oregon Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/m900nv17v

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  • An abandoned cinnabar mining and roasting site is in the major sub-basin of the watershed for Cottage Grove Reservoir, Oregon. Average surface sediment total mercury concentration in the river draining this sub-basin (0.61±0.52 μg /g) was about ten-fold higher than three smaller tributaries to the reservoir. Total mercury in reservoir surface sediments averaged 1.66 ± 0.70 μg /g. Stratigraphy for two sediment cores indicated generally decreased reservoir mercury loading from 1963-2002 but two pronounced peaks in mercury deposition. Years of extreme precipitation immediately prior to these peaks at least partially explained them. Epaxial muscle total mercury concentrations of largemouth bass increased with body weight up to 2.5 μg /g. A gradient of mercury concentrations in soils from a 3.3 km diameter grid indicated condensation of mercury vapors from the mine site polluted the sub-basin.
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  • Curtis, L. R., Morgans, D. L., Thoms, B., & Villenueve, D. (2013). Extreme precipitation appears a key driver of mercury transport from the watershed to cottage grove reservoir, oregon. Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 176, 178-184. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2013.01.028
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  • 176
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  • This research was conducted with support of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Portland, OR).
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