Science Inventory

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM THE INVESTIGATION OF WESTERN AIRBORNE CONTAMINANTS IN TWO HIGH ELEVATION WATERSHEDS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Citation:

Landers, D H., T. Blett, D. H. Campbell, S. Echols, L. Geiser, D. Jaffe, K. J. Hageman, A. Schwindt, AND S. Simonich. FIELD ACTIVITIES AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM THE INVESTIGATION OF WESTERN AIRBORNE CONTAMINANTS IN TWO HIGH ELEVATION WATERSHEDS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK. Presented at Rocky Mountain National Park Science Conference 2004, Estes Park, CO, April 5-8, 2004.

Description:

The National Park Service initiated the Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project (WACAP) in 2002 to determine if airborne contaminants from long-range transport and/or regional sources are having an impact on remote western ecosystems, including AK. Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO) is the easternmost of the 8 National Parks and Preserves included in WACAP. Field sampling began in 2003 with Spring snow sampling in all parks and summer sampling in ROMO and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI). Snow sampling will continue each year through 2005 in all 8 parks. Lake water, sediment cores, fish, and vegetation are sampled in summer to evaluate concentrations, pathways and impacts of semi-volatile organic compounds (SOC), mercury and metals. This work has been completed in ROMO and SEKI and will next be initiated in the remaining 6 parks over the next two summer seasons. Atmospheric modeling is conducted to determine the likely sources of contaminants found in ROMO.
Snow sampling in ROMO will be used to estimate direct annual atmospheric contaminant loading. In Lone Pine Lake (3024 m.a.s.l., West side) and Mills Lake (3030 m.a.s.l., East side) at ROMO, we sampled reproducing populations of brook trout and rainbow trout, respectively. Lake sediments were obtained from both lakes and will be used to compare historical and current levels of SOC. Dating and contaminant analyses of the cores have been initiated. Early results from snow, and lake water indicate that a broad range of SOCs are found in ROMO and that those found in the snowpack are usually also found in the lake water. This is significant because it indicates that the contaminants are moving through ecosystem components. In general, we detected fewer SOCs in ROMO than SEKI and all those SOCs found in ROMO were also present in SEKI.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 04/06/2004
Record Last Revised: 06/06/2005
Record ID: 80514

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

AQUATIC MONITORING & BIOASSESSMENT BRANCH