Environmental Geology

, Volume 21, Issue 1–2, pp 42–50 | Cite as

Naturally occurring mercury contamination in a pristine environment?

  • W. C. Sidle


About 19 percent of sampled residential water wells situated in a pristine, granitic Maine (USA) coastal environment have elevated mercury concentrations according to USEPA standards. There are no identified anthropogenic sources for mercury but some local granitoids have anomalous mercury concentrations in the Waldoboro Pluton Complex (WPC). Site-specific hydrogeologic conditions appear to have aggravated what is otherwise only trace amounts of some naturally occurring toxic analytes in the groundwater in contact with the suspect granitoids of the WPC. The extent of mercury in this crystalline rock environment is examined here. It is prudent to exercise preventive measures and appropriately site water supply wells and not expect complete remediation of the affected homeowners' wells.


Mercury Water Supply Trace Amount Preventive Measure Anthropogenic Source 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. C. Sidle
    • 1
  1. 1.W. C. Sidle, Groundwater Research Co.OxfordUSA

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