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AIRBORNE MERCURY DEPOSITION AND WATERSHED CHARACTERISTICS IN RELATION TO MERCURY CONCENTRATIONS IN WATER, SEDIMENTS, PLANKTON, AND FISH OF EIGHTY NORTHERN MINNESOTA LAKES
Sorensen, J., G. Glass, K. Schmidt, J. Huber, AND G. Rapp, Jr. AIRBORNE MERCURY DEPOSITION AND WATERSHED CHARACTERISTICS IN RELATION TO MERCURY CONCENTRATIONS IN WATER, SEDIMENTS, PLANKTON, AND FISH OF EIGHTY NORTHERN MINNESOTA LAKES. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/J-90/317 (NTIS PB91146712).
In light of increasing fish consumption advisories in several states, a comprehensive multimedia database was created to answer a variety of questions. Mercury concentrations in precipitation, lake water and sediment, zooplankton, and fish were measured and analyzed together with extensive watershed and lake chemistry data for 80 lake watersheds in the study region of northeastern Minnesota including the Superior National Forest, Voyageurs National Park, and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Atmospheric deposition of mercury, transport, water column lifetimes, and sedimentation in lakes are determined. The factors relating mercury concentrations within the lake watershed components are analyzed and discussed. The notable correlates with mercury residue levels in northern pike of a standard length and weight (55 cm, 1.0 kg) were mercury concentrations in zooplankton and water, total organic carbon concentration, and pH. The primary source of mercury was found to be of atmospheric origin.