Estimating selenium removal by sedimentation from the Great Salt Lake, Utah

  • Oliver W
  • Fuller C
  • Naftz D
 et al. 
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Abstract

The mass of Se deposited annually to sediment in the Great Salt Lake (GSL) was estimated to determine the significance of sedimentation as a permanent Se removal mechanism. Lake sediment cores were used to qualitatively delineate sedimentation regions (very high to very low), estimate mass accumulation rates (MARs) and determine sediment Se concentrations. Sedimentation regions were defined by comparison of isopach contours of Holocene sediment thicknesses to linear sedimentation rates determined via analysis of210Pb,226Ra,7Be and137Cs activity in 20 short cores (10 cm). These MARs in the upper 1-2 cm of each long core ranged from 0.019 to 0.105 gsed/cm2/a. Surface sediment Se concentrations in the upper 1 or 2 cm of each long core ranged from 0.79 to 2.47 mg/kg. Representative MARs and Se concentrations were used to develop mean annual Se removal by sedimentation in the corresponding sedimentation region. The spatially integrated Se sedimentation rate was estimated to be 624 kg/a within a range of uncertainty between 285 and 960 kg/a. Comparison to annual Se loading and other potential removal processes suggests burial by sedimentation is not the primary removal process for Se from the GSL. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

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