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Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

The Toxic Substances Hydrology Program provides objective scientific information on environmental contamination to improve characterization and management of contaminated sites, to protect human and environmental health, and to reduce potential future contamination problems. Read more about the Toxics Program

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Research Projects
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Scientist collected earthworms from a soybean field fertilized with biosolids. The earthworms were analyzed for 77 different chemicals; 20 chemicals were detected in the earthworms.

USGS scientist preparing a submersible instrument package that is used to collect water-quality data on the San Francisco Bay, Calif., during a cruise of the USGS Research Vessel Polaris. The instrument includes sensors for measuring depth, conductivity, temperature, suspended solids, chlorophyll, light penetration, and dissolved oxygen
Climate-Driven Ocean Changes Affect Estuaries: Pacific Ocean Cooling Triggers Phytoplankton Blooms in San Francisco Bay

USGS scientist collecting water-quality samples during a hydrogen-consuming, push-pull injection test at the Norman Municipal Landfill Research Site, Okla. The test is used to determine what microbiological processes are active in the subsurface at ground-water contamination sites.

USGS scientist collecting water-quality samples during a hydrogen-consuming, push-pull injection test at the Norman Municipal Landfill Research Site, Okla. The test is used to determine what microbiological processes are active in the subsurface at ground-water contamination sites.

USGS scientist measuring pH and other water properties on the banks of Fourmile Creek, Iowa, before collecting a sediment sample for laboratory biodegradation experiments

   
     
   
Crosscutting Topics
   
     
   
Photo Gallery
   

USGS scientist operating a gas chromatograph /mass spectrometer (GC/MS).
USGS scientists used gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to analyze water-quality samples during a reconnaissance study of herbicides and their metabolites in surface water of the Midwestern United States. The study also compared the results of immunoassay and GC/MS analysis -- from the Pesticides Investigations Photo Gallery

New Publications
   
Meetings

Selected New Publications
A national reconnaissance of pharmaceuticals and other organic wastewater contaminants in the United States--I. Groundwater: Barnes, K.K., Kolpin, D.W., Furlong, E.T., Zaugg, S.D., Meyer, M.T., and Barber, L.B., 2008, Science of the Total Environment, v. 402, no. 2-3, p. 192-200, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.04.028.

A national reconnaissance for pharmaceuticals and other organic wastewater contaminants in the United States--II. Untreated drinking water sources: Focazio, M.J., Kolpin, D.W., Barnes, K.K., Furlong, E.T., Meyer, M.T., Zaugg, S.D., Barber, L.B., and Thurman, E.M., 2008, Science of the Total Environment, v. 402, no. 2-3, p. 201-216, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.02.021.

The occurrence of glyphosate, atrazine, and other pesticides in vernal pools and adjacent streams in Washington, DC, Maryland, Iowa, and Wyoming, 20052006: Battaglin, W.A., Rice, K.C., Focazio, M.J., Salmons, S., and Barry, R.X., 2008, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, doi:10.1007/s10661-008-0435-y (Advanced Web release).

Upcoming Publications
The short-term effect of cattle exclosures on Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris) populations and habitat in Northeastern Oregon, USA: Adams, M.J., Pearl, C.A., McCreary, B., Galvan, S.K., Wessell, S.J., Wente, W.H., Anderson, C.W., and Kuehl, A.B., Journal of Herpetology (IN PRESS).

Fate of consumer product chemicals in the subsurface environment--25 Years of research on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA: Barber, L.B., in Hill, M.C., ed., Groundwater Quality 2007--Securing Groundwater Quality in Urban and Industrial Environments: International Association of Hydrological Sciences IAHS Redbook (IN PRESS).

Subsurface fate and transport of 4-nonylphenol, 17Β-estradiol, and sulfamethoxazole: Barber, L.B., Meyer, M.T., LeBlanc, D.R., Kolpin, D.W., Bradley, P.M., Chapelle, F.H., and Rubio, F., in Hill, M.C., ed., Groundwater Quality 2007--Securing Groundwater Quality in Urban and Industrial Environments: International Association of Hydrological Sciences IAHS Redbook (IN PRESS).

   

USGS is co-sponsoring the short course Environmental Fate and Effects of Emerging Contaminants at the SETAC North America 29th Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida, November 16-20, 2008

USGS co-sponsor the special session Characterizing Ground-Water Flow and Chemical Transport in Fractured-Rock Aquifers at the 2008 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Cairns, Australia, on July 29-August 1, 2008

USGS and Virginia Tech present the NGWA's short course "Estimating Times of Remediation Associated with Monitored Natural Attenuation and Contaminant Source Removal," Tucson, Ariz., March 17-18, 2008

GSA and USGS cosponsor GeoHealth I: Building Bridges Across the Geological and Health Sciences, USGS Headquarters, Reston, Virginia, March 4-6, 2008

USGS is co-sponsoring a special session on Geologic and Hydrologic Controls on Subsurface Redox Conditions at the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Calif., December 10-14, 2007

USGS is co-sponsoring the special session "Perchlorate (and Other Oxyanions) in the Hydrologic Cycle—Origins, Accumulation, Transformations, and Transport (H03)" at the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Calif., December 10-14, 2007

USGS scientist Dr. Larry B. Barber to give keynote talk at CSIRO's sysposium "What's in Our Water: The significance of trace organic compounds", the 2nd Australian Symposium on Ecological Risk Assessment and Management of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Australasian Environment, Canberra, Australia, November 21-22, 2007

USGS co-sponsors the special session "Prediction and Understanding: Model Approaches, Applications and Performance" at the Estuarine Research Federation's 19th Biennial International Conference, Providence, Rhode Island, November 4-8, 2007

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