SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • bed-sediment quality;
  • trace elements;
  • land use

ABSTRACT: The distribution of trace elements in New Jersey streambed sediments is described with respect to physiographic provinces and major drainage areas. Samples were collected during 1976–1993 at 295 sites distributed throughout New Jersey. Copper, chromium, lead, and zinc were detected with the greatest frequency and at the highest concentrations of the elements. Concentrations of most trace elements were significantly higher in streambed sediments from the New England (glaciated) and Piedmont physiographic provinces - the provinces with the lowest and highest percentages of urban land use, respectively - than in sediments from the other provinces. High trace-element concentrations in the New England (glaciated) province reflect previous mining of extensive magnetite deposits, whereas those in the Piedmont province most likely reflect urban land use. Significantly lower trace-element concentrations in streambed sediments from the Coastal Plain are attributable to the low pH of the streamwater, the lack of iron and manganese available to form coatings that scavenge trace elements, and the relatively low percentage of urban land use in the province. Trace-element concentrations were related to land use, population, or point sources in the drainage basin specific to the sampling location by using logistic regression. Results of this analysis indicate a relation between arsenic and agricultural land use; chromium and physiographic province; and copper, lead, and zinc and population density.