Distribution of selenium, mercury, and methylmercury in surficial Missouri river sediments

Brenda M. Pracheil, Daniel D. Snow, Mark A. Pegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Sediment deposition into Lewis and Clark Lake, an impoundment of the Missouri River, has caused substantial storage capacity reductions. Current proposals to hydrologically flush sediment would disturb river and reservoir sediment that may contain heavy metals. We quantified existing concentrations of selenium (Se), mercury (Hg), and methylmercury (MeHg) in surficial sediments upstream of and in Lewis and Clark Lake. We found elevated levels of Se (range 0.12-9.62 μg/g) and Hg (range 0.02-1.55 μg/g) at several sites throughout the study area; however, few sites contained levels of MeHg above detection limits. Sites with highest MeHg concentrations were found in Lewis and Clark Lake and ranged from below detection limit to 0.79 ng/g. We conclude that further investigation of sediment-sequestered contaminants in Lewis and Clark Lake should be conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-335
Number of pages5
JournalBulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Lewis and Clark Lake
  • Mercury
  • Methylmercury
  • Reservoir
  • Sediment
  • Selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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