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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Toxics Program Remediation Activities

Lake Coeur d'Alene Remediation Assessment

Type
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Site Characterization
Location Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Partners
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • North Idaho College
  • University of Southern California
  • University of California, Santa Curz
Technology To Be Determined
Contaminants
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Cadmium
Description

Methods developed by the Toxics Program to assess the movement of contaminants in bottom sediments into the water of San Francisco Bay, California, have been applied at Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (Scientists call the movement of dissolved contaminants, which can be either into or out of bottom sediments the benthic flux). Remediation strategies for the Bunker Hill Superfund Site, Idaho, currently focus on channel modifications along the Coeur d'Alene River that flows into Lake Coeur d'Alene. Results of a USGS study to assess contaminant sources in the lake indicated that for virtually all contaminants of concern, the abundance of contaminants that have accumulated ubiquitously in the lake-bottom sediment over the past century would limit the effectiveness of the remediation. A decrerase in the contaminant load from the Coeur d'Alene River could result in an increase in the amount of contaminants released by the lake's bottom sediments (an increase in the benthic flux of contaminants into the water column). Computer modeling results show that a potential increase in contaminants released from the bottom sediments would be caused by an increase in the concentration gradient across the sediment water interface caused by the river cleanup. Resource managers can use this methodology to assess the effectiveness of remediation strategies for other contaminated water bodies.

More Information
Contact James Kuwabara, USGS, National Research Program, Menlo Park, CA,
Publications
Kuwabara, J.S., Berelson, W.M., Balistrieri, L.S., Woods, P.F., Topping, B.R., Steding, D.J., and Krabbenhoft, D.P., 2000,
Benthic flux of metals and nutrients into the water column of Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho---Report of an August, 1999, pilot study: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 00-4132, 74 p.
Links

Other Studies Using the Same Methods to Determine the Benthic Flux of Metals

Lake Coeur d'Alene Information

USGS Acid Mine Drainage Remediation Projects

San Francisco Bay Information

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Page Last Modified: Friday, 29-Apr-2016 13:54:46 EDT