Investigation of the Distribution of Organochlorine and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Compounds in the Lower Columbia River
Entry ID: WRIR_99_4051

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Summary
Abstract: Organochlorine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds are of concern in
the Columbia River Basin because of their adverse effects on fish and wildlife.
Because these compounds can have important biological consequences at
concentrations well below the detection limits associated with conventional
water-sampling techniques, we used semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) to
sample water, and achieved sub-parts-per- quintillion detection limits. We
deployed SPMDs during 1997 low-flow conditions and 1998 high-flow conditions at
nine main-stem sites and seven tributary sites, spanning approximately 700
miles of the Columbia River. We also collected streambed sediment from three
sites. SPMD extracts and sediments were analyzed for polychlorinated
dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, polychlorinated biphenyls,
organochlorine pesticides and related transformation products, and polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons. Our data indicate that (1) in the absence of additional
sources, mechanisms such as volatilization, dilution, and settling of sus
pended particles can act to significantly reduce concentrations of contaminants
along the river's flow path, (2) elevated concentrations of contaminants in the
Portland-Vancouver area are primarily from local rather than upstream sources,
(3) elevated concentrations of many compounds tend to be diluted during periods
of high discharge, (4) much higher discharge in the main stem considerably
dilutes elevated concentrations entering from tributaries, (5) the distribution
of hydrophobic organic compounds in streambed sediment is not necessarily
indicative of their distribution in the dissolved-phase, and (6) SPMDs can
reveal patterns of contaminant occurrence at environmentally relevant
concentrations that are undetectable by conventional water-sampling techniques.

The purpose of the dataset was to determine the spatial and temporal
distribution of hydrophobic organic compounds observed in the Columbia River
system in order to provide insights into the sources and transport of these
compounds.

SPMDs were used to sample nine sites on the Columbia River main stem and seven
tributary sites for PAH and OC compounds during low-flow conditions in the late
summer and early fall of 1997, and again during high-flow conditions om 1998.
High flows in the Columbia River main stem result primarily from snowmelt, and
the 1998 sampling at most sites was conducted during late spring and early
summer to capture peak discharges. In contrast, high flows in the Willamette
subbasin result largely from winter rainfall, and therefore the 1998 sampling
at the Willamette River and Johnson Creek sites was conducted during the
winter. To help in the interpretation of SPMD data, water temperature was also
monitored and water samples were collected for analyses of dissolved and
suspended organic carbon. During the 1997 low-flow sampling period, streambed
sediment was collected from three of the sites and analyzed for the full suite
of OC and PAH compounds.

SPMDs, mounted on deployment racks were shipped from the manufacturer in sealed
1 gallon metal cans and refrigerated until use. In the field, the mounted
SPMDs were removed from the storage cans (by grasping the mounting rack rather
than the SPMD), transferred into stainless steel deployment cannisters (which
serve as protective shrouds), and placed in the stream. SPMDs were typically
exposed to the atmosphere less than 15 minutes before being submerged in the
river. Each cannister contained 5 SPMDs. Individual deployments consisted of
either 1 or 3 cannisters (5 or 15 SPMDs per deployment), depending on the suite
of compounds to be analyzed. Cannisters were secured at each site with anchors
and, in some cases, a tether line attached to a fixed structure. Floats were
used to ensure that the cannisters did not rest on the streambed. SPMDs were
left in place for approximately 35 days. At the end of this 5-week deployment
period, the mounted SPMDs were removed from the cannisters (by grasping the
mounting rack rather than the SPMD), sealed in cans, and shipped on ice to the
EST laboratory. Again, SPMDs were typically exposed to the atmosphere less
than 15 minutes before being sealed in shipping containers.

Grab samples for analyses of dissolved and suspended organic carbon were
collected at selected sites during the deployment and retrieval of SPMDs.
These samples were collected in baked glass bottles, sealed with
aluminum-foil-lined caps, and stored on ice immediately following collection.
The samples were filtered in the District Laboratoy within 24 hours, then
shipped on ice to the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory in Denver,
Colorado for analyses (Wershaw et al, 1987). To assure the quality of
organic-carbon data, equipment blank samples were processed using organic-free
water and analyzed along with the field samples. Duplicate samples were also
collected, processed, and analyzed along with the primary environmental
samples. Standard quality-control procedures were followed at the USGS NWQL. To
assure the quality of organic-carbon data, equipment blank samples were
processed using organic-free water and analyzed along with the field samples.
Duplicate samples were also collected, processed, and analyzed along with the
primary environmental samples. Standard quality-control procedures were
followed at the USGS NWQL (Pirkey and Glodt, 1998).

Hobo XT temperature loggers (Onset Instruments Corp.), Pocasset, Massachusetts)
were deployed along with SPMDs at each site. The loggers recorded ambient
water temperature at 48-minute intervals during the entire deployment period.
Duplicate temperature loggers were deployed at selected sites during each
deployment period. Water velocity at each site was visually estimated at the
beginning and end of each period, and the degree of membrane fouling was
estimated during processing in the laboratory.

Streambed sediment samples were collected following procedures described by
Shelton and Capel (1994). Samples were processed by wet sieving through a 63
micromillimeter stainless steel sieve with native water. The sediment samples
were placed in 1 quart methanol-rinsed glass containers, and shipped on ice to
CERC for analyses. At the CERC, sediment samples were air dried and
homogenized, and sample aliquots for analyses of (1) PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs,
(2) OC Pesticides and transformation products, and (3) PAHs were prepared with
specific fractionation and enrichment processes (Gale and Orazio, 1998).
Analyses were performed as described in the earlier section on SPMDs. Quality
control samples processed with sediment samples included method replicates,
procedural blanks, procedural spikes, and positive-control matrix samples for
each class of analytes. Further details of the methods used are described by
Gale and Orazio (1998).

The information for this metadata was taken from the Online Publications of the
Oregon District at http://oregon.usgs.gov/pubs_dir/online_list.html .

Related URL
Link: VIEW EXTENDED METADATA
Description: Metadata in National Biological Information Infrastructure format.


Geographic Coverage
 N: 49.0 S: 40.0  E: -118.5  W: -124.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Kathleen A. McCarthy and Robert W. Gale
Dataset Title: Investigation of the Distribution of Organochlorine and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Compounds in the Lower Columbia River
Dataset Release Date: unknown
Dataset Release Place: Portland, Oregon
Dataset Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey
Data Presentation Form: database


Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1997-08-01
Stop Date: 1998-01-01


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > OREGON


Science Keywords
AGRICULTURE >AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS >PESTICIDES >ORGANOCHLORINE PESTICIDES    [Definition]
HUMAN DIMENSIONS >ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS >CONTAMINANT LEVELS/SPILLS >HYDROCARBONS    [Definition]
HUMAN DIMENSIONS >ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS >CONTAMINANT LEVELS/SPILLS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CONTAMINANTS >HYDROCARBONS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CONTAMINANTS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >HYDROCARBONS >POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >HYDROCARBONS >ORGANOCHLORINE HYDROCARBONS    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS >RIVERS/STREAM HABITAT >COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS >ECOTOXICOLOGY >SPECIES BIOACCUMULATION    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
FARMING
BIOTA


Quality
Field Quality Control-SPMDs were deployed in duplicate at selected locations
to help quantify the overall precision of the sampling and analytical methods.
At selected sites, field-blank SPMDs were exposed to the atmosphere during both
deployment and retrieval to help quantify sample contamination resulting from
handling and exposure to the atmosphere. Duplicate deployments and field
blanks each consisted of the same number of SPMDs (5 or 15) as the associated
primary deployment. All SPMD sets-primary deployments, duplicate deployments,
and field blanks-were processed and analyzed using the same methods. For each
class of compounds, analyte concentrations measured in field-blank SPMDs were
generally much lower than those measured in deployed SPMDs, showing that
handling and exposure to the atmosphere did not introduce significant
contamination. In addition, for each deployment period, analyte concentrations
were similar in all field-blank SPMDs. SPMD data from each river deployment
were therefore corrected for atmospheric contamination, based on average
concentrations of all field blanks exposed during that period. Results from
duplicate field deployments indicate precision adequate for a
reconnaissance-level study. With the exception of the 1997 duplicate
deployment at the Northport site, results from most duplicate samples differed
by less than a factor of two, and as expected, the greatest differences were in
analytes present at concentrations near the detection limits. Laboratory
Quality Control-Quality control samples processed with SPMD samples included
procedural blanks and procedural spikes for each class of analytes. Procedural
blanks were used to identify and quantify background contamination that
occurred during sample preparation and analyses. Procedural spikes were used to
monitor the overall efficiency of the sample preparation and analytical
processes. Reported SPMD concentrations were corrected for surrogate
recoveries (when applicable) and for procedural and field-blank backgrounds.
Further details of the quality-control methods used at the analytical
laboratories and the specific methods used for data correction are available in
Gale and Orazio (1998) and from MRI.


Access Constraints
None


Use Constraints
None


Keywords
organochlorine compounds
OCs
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds
PAHs
semipermeable membrane devices
SPMDs
lower Columbia River
Columbia River mainstem
Biological Data Profile
BDP


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Data Center
Water Resource Division, Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://oregon.usgs.gov

Data Center Personnel
Name: DENNIS D. LYNCH
Phone: (503) 251-3200
Fax: (503) 251-3470
Email: ddlynch at usgs.gov
Contact Address:
U.S. Geological Survey
10615 S.E. Cherry Blossom Drive
City: Portland
Province or State: Oregon
Postal Code: 97216-3159
Country: USA


Personnel
KATHLEEN A. MCCARTHY
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: (503) 251-3257
Email: mccarthy at usgs.gov
Contact Address:
U.S. Geological Survey
10615 SE Cherry Blossom Drive
City: Portland
Province or State: Oregon
Postal Code: 97216-3159
Country: USA


TYLER B. STEVENS
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA


Publications/References
McCarthy, K.A. And R. W. Gale, 1999, Investigation of the Distribution of
Organochlorine and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Compounds in the Lower
Columbia River Using Semipermeable Membrane Devices

Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4051, Portland, Oregon U.S. Geological
Survey http://oregon.usgs.gov/pubs_dir/Pdf/99-4051.pdf

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2001-06-27
Last DIF Revision Date: 2012-12-12
Future DIF Review Date: 2002-06-27

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