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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Groundwater Discharge of Mercury to California Coastal Waters


The hypothesis tested, and subsequently validated, during this one-year project was: Measurable amounts of mercury are transported in groundwater to California’s coastal waters.

Radiometric analyses, based on radium isotopes, as well as trace metal techniques, were used to quantify concentrations and fluxes of total and organic mercury in groundwater discharging to Stinson Beach in Marin County, north of San Francisco, and Elkhorn Slough in Monterey County, south of San Francisco.

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