Investigation of Water Quality and Heavy Metals Concentrations in Streambed Sediments
Investigation of Water Quality and Heavy Metals Concentrations in Streambed Sediments in the Vicinity of a Proposed Mining Project
- Keywords: water quality, heavy metals, mining
- Student Investigator:
- Faculty Mentor: Sonia A. Nagorski, Ph.D.
- Project Period: January 2018–July 2018
- URECA: $2,500
This project will collect samples of streambed sediments in Glacier Creek, which is part of the Chilkat River Watershed, to obtain baseline heavy metal concentrations. A mining exploration project is underway in Glacier Creek Watershed, exploring a sulfide deposit, which if developed, would likely generate acid rock drainage (ARD). The nearby towns, Klukwan, a Tlingit Village, and Haines, Alaska, rely on the Chilkat River for the salmon fishery it supports, both commercial and subsistence. ARD and trace metals pose a high risk to salmon and water quality. It is critical to assess heavy metals before further mining activities occur. The data collected in this project will be used to assess the concentration of heavy metals in streambed sediments in Glacier Creek, it will also serve as a benchmark indicator for future water quality assessments.