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A Baseline Assessment of Contaminant Concentrations in Sediment and Biota in Proximity to Coal Transport Tracks in the Pacific Northwest (2014)


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Nilsen, E.B., Black, Robert, Eagles-Smith, C.A., Hapke, W.B., Smith, C.D., Johnson, Lyndal, Ylitalo, G.M., Boyd, Daryle, and Davis, J.W., 2017, A baseline assessment of contaminant concentrations in sediment and biota in proximity to coal transport tracks in the Pacific Northwest (2014): U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This dataset provides baseline concentrations (from 2014) of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), other aromatic organic compounds, mercury (Hg), and trace metal concentrations in sediment and biota collected from two sites along an existing rail line used for coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. For this study, aquatic surface sediments, aquatic insects, and juvenile fish were collected in 2014 from Horsethief Lake in Columbia Hills State Park and Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), both located in close proximity to the rail line and within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Samples were collected from two subsites in each area: one closer to the rail line and one farther from the rail [...]


Attached Files

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coal contaminants 2014.csv
“Coal spreadsheet ”
154.88 KB
coal contaminants 2014_metadata.xml
“Metadata file”
Original FGDC Metadata

109.76 KB


Railway transport of coal poses an environmental risk because coal dust contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mercury (Hg), and other metals. In the Pacific Northwest, proposed infrastructure projects could result in an increase in coal transport by train through the Columbia River corridor. This dataset provides baseline information on current distributions, levels, and spatial patterns of coal dust-derived contaminants in habitats and organisms living close to an existing coal transport line.



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DOI doi:10.5066/F7KD1WDJ

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