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Geochemical Behavior and Watershed Influences Associated with Sediment-Bound Mercury for South Dakota Lakes and Impoundments

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Abstract

Sediment cores were collected from ten eutrophic lakes in South Dakota to determine the lateral extent of sediment-bound mercury (Hg) concentrations and to assess the relationship between watershed and land use characteristics with lake Hg fish tissue consumption advisory (>1.0 mg Hg/kg fish tissue) status. Advisory lakes were characterized as having higher sediment Hg and organic matter and lower total sulfur content compared to non-advisory lakes, and results highlight the importance of sulfide and organic carbon availability associated with potential Hg methylation biogeochemical processes. Advisory lakes generally had higher percentage of areal development and grasslands, higher catchment to lake area, and lower percentage of wetlands compared to non-advisory lakes. These results signify the importance of minimizing watershed sediment transport and associated organic carbon loading as effective Hg fish tissue lake management strategies.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Aaron Larson and Robert Smith of SD DENR for their assistance with data collection. Furthermore, this research was initiated by the late Gene Stueven and completed on his behalf. This research was supported by grants from SD DENR and US EPA Region 8. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

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Correspondence to James J. Stone.

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Betemariam, H.H., McCutcheon, C.M., Davis, A.D. et al. Geochemical Behavior and Watershed Influences Associated with Sediment-Bound Mercury for South Dakota Lakes and Impoundments. Water Air Soil Pollut 224, 1497 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-013-1497-1

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Keywords

  • Mercury
  • Methyl mercury
  • Lake sediments
  • Mercury advisory
  • Mercury fish tissue
  • South Dakota lakes and impoundments