Title

Storage of mining-related zinc in floodplain sediments, blue river, Wisconsin

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-1997

Department

Geography and Geology

Abstract

This study investigates spatial patterns of sediment-associated zinc (Zn) storage in floodplain deposits and the potential reintroduction of these metal-contaminated sediments to the active channel by bank erosion. We estimate patterns of Zn mass storage by combining longitudinal trends in Zn concentrations with measurements of sediment mass storage in overbank and point-bar deposits. Overbank deposits are the largest contaminant sink, storing five times more Zn than the point-bar deposits. While Zn concentrations decrease downstream because of dilution effects, the total mass of tn stored in floodplains is greatest in both the upstream reaches and in the wider lower valleys where low channel gradients promote rapid sedimentation. Zn storage is low in middle reaches where steep, narrow valleys with high stream power favor sediment transport over deposition. Overall, more than half of the Zn released by mining remains stored in floodplain deposits within the watershed. The remobilization of Zn from storage is more likely in the upstream and mid-basin reaches where high stream power increases rates of lateral channel migration. Channels in the lower valley lack the stream power to migrate laterally and remobilize the large Zn mass stored in overbank sediments.

Publication Title

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

Volume

18

Issue

5

First Page

424

Last Page

439

This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library

Share

 
COinS