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  Mercury - Water Quality and Flow  


Water-column samples were collected at 3 sites during the high intensity phase of Cycle II. These sites included 2 northern Wisconsin sites with significant wetlands in their drainages (Pike River at Amber, WI 04066500, and Evergreen River near Langlade, WI 04075365) and one urban site, Oak Creek at South Milwaukee, WI 04087204. During the high-intensity sampling phase at the WMIC mercury topical sites, the goal was to collect 18 water-column samples at each site, 12 monthly samples plus 6 event samples. Event samples were to be both from rainfall and snowmelt, the 6 samples were to include samples both on the rising and falling limb of the hydrograph. Chemical analysis of the water column samples included the following:

  • Total dissolved mercury (filtered water)
  • Total dissolved methylmercury (filtered water)
  • Particulate total mercury
  • Particulate methylmercury
  • Field parameters -- specific conductance, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH
  • Streamflow (or stage, where site is gaged)
  • Dissolved organic carbon
  • Suspended sediment
  • Particulate isotopes (d13C / d15N)
  • Major ions (sch. 1819)
  • Nutrients in filtered water (sch. 1825)
  • NWQL lab analysis for alkalinity
Mercury samples collected during Cycle II plotted on hydrographs:
Click for mercury samples collected at Evergreen River Click for mercury samples collected at Oak Creek Click for mercury samples collected at Pike River

All samples were collected following standard USGS water-quality protocols from the National Field Manual and protocols specifically designed for sampling of surface water for very low level mercury detection (Olson, M.L., and DeWild, J.F., 1999 Low-Level Collection Techniques and Species-Specific Analytical Methods for Mercury in Water, Sediment, and Biota U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4018b, 11 pp).

All three mercury topical sites had standard USGS gaging stations. Water-quality and flow data can be found for the 3 sites on the Data page. To limit the data for the period of intensive data collection please use the following dates in your retrieval - October 1, 2002 to September 30, 2004.


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