Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Segun Adelanke - Texas Southern University
Heavy metals such as mercury (Hg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) are the major contaminants to the biotic community in East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC), Oak ridge, Tennessee. The watershed has been polluted and received effluents over the years by the action of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility in the upstream of the creek. Variation in stream flow, as a result of flooding after the rainfall re-suspension of the contaminated streambed sediments and erosion of polluted stream bank soils further causes a secondary source of Hg to the creek. In order to fulfill the state of Tennessee Hg bioaccumulation standard of 0.3ppm, a reduction in Hg concentration to 0.3 ppm threshold has been proposed. In this study we are testing the hypothesis that the changes in vegetation, impervious surface and other landscape patterns of EFPC watershed leads to change in Hg bioconcentration pattern across the creek. The historical data of Hg bioaccumulation in Redbreast fish (Lepomis auritus), Bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), Large Mouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides), and Rock bass (Ambloplite rupestris) were downloaded, evaluated and modelled for the trend in those fishes from 1984-2014. Historical LANDSAT imagery corresponding to this time period was downloaded and processed using the ER Mapper software. The land use and land cover changes of the study area being mapped using the spectral ratios and vegetative indices such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Our results indicate that the lower EFPC shows significant landscape changes and increase in Hg bioaccumulation compared to the upper EFPC.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research was primarily supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Texas Southern University (TSU) under the award number HRD-1400962.
Faculty Advisor: Sridhar Bhaskar, email@example.com