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Sediment-quality and water-toxicity data from 10 sites on the Westside Creeks and San Antonio River, San Antonio, Texas, 2014


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Crow, C.L., Wilson, J.T., and Kunz, J.L., 2016, Sediment-quality and water-toxicity data from 10 sites on the Westside Creeks and San Antonio River, San Antonio, Texas, 2014: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Sediment samples and samples for water-toxicity testing were collected during 2014 from several streams in San Antonio, Texas known locally as the Westside creeks (Alazán, Apache, Martínez, and San Pedro Creeks) and from the San Antonio River. Samples were collected once during base-flow and again after periods of storm-water runoff (post-storm conditions) to determine baseline sediment- and water-quality conditions. Streambed-sediment samples were analyzed for selected constituents, including trace elements and organic contaminants such as pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).


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CodeDefinitions.txt 147 Bytes text/plain
DataDictionary.xlsx 18.93 KB application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet
FieldDefinitions.txt 18.4 KB text/plain
ReadMe.txt 2.16 KB text/plain
Westside_Creeks_Sediment_Dataset.txt 16.96 KB text/plain
Westside_Creeks_Sediment_Dataset.xlsx 32.64 KB application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet
Westside_Creeks_Toxicity_Dataset.txt 10.29 KB text/plain
Westside_Creeks_Toxicity_Dataset.xlsx 18.54 KB application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet


The datasets were collected to help characterize several constituents of concern in the streambed sediments of the Westside creeks; the constituents that were selected for analysis included trace elements, pesticides, brominated flame retardants, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Many of the selected constituents of concern have been used historically for industrial as well as domestic purposes. These chemicals are typically hydrophobic, meaning they do not normally remain in the water column but instead bind to sediments. Hence, sediments can serve as long-term repositories of historical contamination. Consequently, disrupting sediment during the anticipated large-scale construction activities creates the potential to re-introduce these chemicals into the ecosystem where, depending on hydrologic and environmental conditions, they could become bioavailable and toxic to aquatic life and humans. It is important to understand the impact of urbanization on freshwater ecosystems including the possibility of increased frequency and delivery of contaminants to neighboring ecosystems (Moran and others, 2012). The Westside creeks are tributaries to the San Antonio River, which drains into bays and estuaries along the Gulf Coast in Texas. Contaminates mobilized from the Westside creeks during construction activities could affect downstream users of water from the San Antonio River and ultimately the ecological health of these bays and estuaries. Characterizing the degree to which contaminants might be present in the sediment in areas of long-term urbanization is important because almost all population growth through 2050 is expected to occur by expansion of existing urban areas (United Nations, 2015) which could lead to mobilization and redistribution of such urban-related contaminants on a national and global scale. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the San Antonio River Authority, collected sediment samples and samples for water-toxicity testing from sites on Alazán, Apache, Martínez, and San Pedro Creeks, and from a site on the San Antonio River as part of an initial characterization of selected contaminants in the study area. Stream samples also were collected to assess toxicity to fish of the streamflow during base flow and after periods of stormwater runoff.

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DOI doi:10.5066/F71R6NN5

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