Mercury in soils, sediments, and clams from a North Carolina peatland


Journal Article

Mercury concentrations were measured in samples of peat soils, sediments and clams (Rangia cuneata) from a peatland region of the Albemarle-Panlico Peninsula of North Carolina. Total Hg concentrations in peat cores ranged from 40 to 193 ng g-1 (dw); no depth-related trends were noted. Mercury concentrations in surface sediments from canals draining the peatlands and from the Pungo River that receives this drainage ranged from 8 to 20 ng g-1 (dw). Selective extractions of these peat and sediment samples revealed that the bulk of the Hg was associated with organic matter-associated fractions (particularly humic/fulvic acid bound and organic-sulfide bound fractions). No Hg was detected in the relatively mobile and bioavailable water-soluble or ion-exchangeable fractions. Total Hg concentrations in the soft tissues of clams from the Pungo River ranged from 25 to 32 ng g-1 (ww). No concentrations of methyl Hg above the detection limit of a 25 ng g-1 were measured in soils, sediments, or clams. These data indicate that Hg concentrations in this region are at the low end of the distribution of levels reported for uncontaminated systems and that mining of these peatlands is unlikely to significantly elevate Hg concentrations in the receiving estuarine system. © 1987 D. Reidel Publishing Company.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Di Giulio, RT; Ryan, EA

Published Date

  • March 1, 1987

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 205 - 219

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-2932

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0049-6979

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/BF00191389

Citation Source

  • Scopus