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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Crosscutting Topics

Field Methods

Environmental Measurement Methods for Use in the Field

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Toxic Substances Hydrology (Toxics) Program develops methods to measure a wide range of environmental properties in the field, including:

  • Techniques for the collection of water and sediment samples for the analysis of pesticides (and their environmental degradates), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pharmaceuticals, trace metals, and other contaminants
  • Aquifer and tracer tests to determine flow and transport properties in unconsolidated and fractured-rock aquifers
  • Novel ways to assess and characterize contamination sites, such as the use of plants to map tritium contamination in the subsurface
  • Stream tracers to determine contaminant sources, transport, and dispersal
  • Surface and borehole geophysics to identify subsurface properties and flow paths
  • Methods to monitor the transport of contaminants and water in the unsaturated zone

The information presented on this page cuts across the boundaries of individual investigations and projects so that information on the application of field methods can be presented in one place.

Investigations and Research Activities

Fact Sheets

Collecting plant foliage for water extraction by solar distillation, Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada
Collecting plant foliage for water extraction by solar distillation, Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada
(Click on image for a larger version)

Sample processing during a stream tracer test at California Gulch, Animas River, CO
Sample processing during a stream tracer test at California Gulch, Animas River, CO
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Headlines

USGS scientists collecting water samples from bedrock fractures with the BAT3 at the University of Connecticut Landfill Study Area, Storrs, CT. The BAT3 is an example of a method developed by the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program that has been applied at many sites
USGS scientists collecting water samples from bedrock fractures with the BAT3 at the University of Connecticut Landfill Study Area, Storrs, CT. The BAT3 is an example of a method developed by the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program that has been applied at many sites
(Click on image for a larger version)

Bibliography

New Publications

Upcoming Publications

  • Comparison of surficial CO2 efflux to other measures of subsurface crude oil degradation: Warren, E., Sihota, N., Hostettler, F.D., and Bekins, B.A., Journal of Contaminant Hydrology (IN PRESS).
  • Detecting well casing leaks in Bangladesh using a salt spiking method: Stahl, M.O., Ong, J.B., Harvey, C.F., Johnson, C.D., Badruzzaman, A.B.M., Tarek, M.H., van Geen, A., Anderson, J.A., and Lane, J.W., Groundwater, doi:10.1111/gwat.12200 (IN PRESS).

Newly Published

Other Methods Crosscutting Topics Pages

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 06-May-2014 14:37:03 EDT