Mercury in Fish and Water in New Impoundments—A Review of the Literature

by David B. Pott, Harza Engineering Co, Chicago, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


Evidence to date indicates that only one metal, mercury, systematically bioaccumulates to ecologically significant concentrations as a direct result of impoundment. This bioaccumulation results from microbial methylation of naturally occurring mercury in the topsoils of newly flooded reservoirs. The organic and nutrient content in the topsoils and temperature appear to strongly influence the rate of methylation and bioaccumulation.

Subject Headings: Mercury (chemical) | Fish management | Water storage | Hydro power | Water pollution | Rivers and streams | Metals (chemical) | Ecosystems

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