Mercury-Contaminated Hydraulic Mining Debris in San Francisco Bay

Robin Bouse, Christopher Fuller, Samuel Luoma, Michelle Hornberger, Bruce Jaffe, Richard Smith
2010 San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science  
The hydraulic gold-mining process used during the Californhttia Gold Rush and in many developing countries today contributes enormous amounts of sediment to rivers and streams. Commonly, accompanying this sediment are contaminants such as elemental mercury and cyanide used in the gold extraction process. We show that some of the mercury-contaminated sediment created by hydraulic gold mining in the Sierra Nevada, between 1852 and 1884, ended up over 250 kilometers (km) away in San Francisco Bay;
more » ... San Francisco Bay; an example of the far-reaching extent of contamination from such activities.
doi:10.15447/sfews.2010v8iss1art3 fatcat:zuftqlwnprhuzg7e2q7nxzmc3q