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Freshwater bivalve shells as monitors of river contaminant sources over time: Application of barium isotopes

Stewart, Brian (2023) Freshwater bivalve shells as monitors of river contaminant sources over time: Application of barium isotopes. In: Pitt Momentum Fund 2023.

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The Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania, which provides drinking water for most of Pittsburgh, receives potential contaminants from current and legacy industrial plants, acidic mine drainage from coal mines, coal-burning power plants, waste disposal treatment, and saline waters co-produced with oil wells and, more recently, hydraulically fractured gas wells. Deconvolving the contaminant sources is critical to eliminating or treating the polluting inputs, and identifying the largest risk factors to river health. Recent work by our research group shows that the stable isotopes of barium (expressed as 138Ba/134Ba) can be very sensitive indicators of contaminant sources, particularly those associated with hydrocarbon production. We seek to evaluate the use of freshwater mussel shells in the Allegheny River and its tributaries to provide a temporal record of riverine contaminant sources using Ba isotopes, in conjunction with trace element geochemistry and isotopes of strontium (87Sr/86Sr). Shells from mature mussel species contain annual shell growth increments that could reflect river water chemistry extending back decades, thus providing a long-term record of industrial and other inputs.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Stewart, BrianBSTEWART@pitt.edu0000-0002-4373-1917
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Office of Sponsored Research > Pitt Momentum Fund
Date: 2023
Event Title: Pitt Momentum Fund 2023
Event Type: Other
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18117/njzc-sk83
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Environmental Science
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Priming Grants - Engineering, Technology, Natural Sciences, and Mathematical Sciences
Other ID: 6149
Additional Information: Poster to be added by March 1, 2023.
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2023 22:32
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2023 17:34


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