Sediment quality assessment survey of the Galveston Bay System




Carr, Robert Scott

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Galveston Bay National Estuary Program


The purpose of this study was to characterize the quality of sediments at key sites in the Galveston Bay Estuary. Sediment samples were taken simultaniously for chemical and physical analyses, toxicity testing, and an assessment of benthic community structure, in order to identify areas where sediment contamination is responsible for ecosystem degradation. The chemical analyses indluded a suite of trace matals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Total organic carbon and acid volatile sulfides were also measured in order to normalize the organic and inorganic constituents, respectively. Solid-phase sediment toxicity tests with the benthic amphipod Grandidierilla japonica were conducted. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a series of sediment porewater tests with gametes of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata.


101 pages; available for download at the link below.


sediment quality, sediment chemistry, toxicity, aquatic communities, water quality