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Barbara J. Mahler

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Coal-tar-based pavement sealants, a major source of PAHs to urban water bodies, have recently been identified as a source of volatile PAHs to the atmosphere. We tracked the volatilization of PAHs for 1 year after application of a coal-tar-based pavement sealant by measuring gas-phase PAH concentrations above the pavement surface and solid-phase PAH concentrations in sealant scraped from the surface. Gas-phase concentrations at two heights (0.03 and 1.28 m) and wind speed were used to estimate volatilization flux. The sum of the concentrations of eight frequently detected PAHs (ΣPAH8) in the 0.03-m sample 1.6 h after application (297,000 ng m-3) was about 5000 times greater than that previously reported for the same...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Atmospheric Environment
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Coal-tar-based pavement sealants, a major source of PAHs to urban water bodies, are a potential source of volatile PAHs to the atmosphere. An initial assessment of volatilization of PAHs from coal-tar-sealed pavement is presented here in which we measured summertime gas-phase PAH concentrations 0.03 m and 1.28 m above the pavement surface of seven sealed (six with coal-tar-based sealant and one with asphalt-based sealant) and three unsealed (two asphalt and one concrete) parking lots in central Texas. PAHs also were measured in parking lot dust. The geometric mean concentration of the sum of eight frequently detected PAHs (ΣPAH8) in the 0.03-m samples above sealed lots (1320 ng m-3) during the hottest part of the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Chemosphere
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In spring 2000, the Texas Department of Health issued a fish consumption advisory for Lake Worth in Fort Worth, Texas, because of elevated concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish. In response to the advisory and in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Geological Survey collected 21 surficial sediment samples and three gravity core sediment samples to assess the spatial distribution and historical trends of selected hydrophobic contaminants, including PCBs, and to determine, to the extent possible, sources of hydrophobic contaminants to Lake Worth. Compared to reference (background) concentrations in the upper lake, elevated PCB concentrations were detected in the surficial sediment samples...
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Concerns about the effect of pumping contaminated flood waters into Lake Pontchartrain following the hurricanes of 2005 prompted the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to sample street mud, canal-suspended sediment, and bottom sediment in Lake Pontchartain. The samples were analyzed for a wide variety of potential inorganic and organic contaminants. Results indicate that contamination of lake sediment relative to other urban lakes and to accepted sedimentquality guidelines was limited to a relatively small area offshore from the Metairie Outfall Canal (popularly known as the 17th Street Canal) and that this contamination is probably transient.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Circular
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Karst aquifers—formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone—are critical groundwater resources in North America, and karst springs, caves, and streams provide habitat for unique flora and fauna. Springflow and groundwater levels in karst terrane can change greatly over short time scales, and therefore are likely to respond rapidly to climate change. How might the biological communities and ecosystems associated with karst respond to climate change and accompanying changes in groundwater levels and springflow? Sites in two central U.S. regions—the Balcones Escarpment of south-central Texas and the Black Hills of western South Dakota (fig. 1)—were selected to study climate change and its potential...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fact Sheet
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