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Environment – Addressing the mercury challenge

By wet-sieving stream sediment, (from left) Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Kenneth Lowe, Melanie Mayes and John Dickson sort sediment into different particle size in this stream near Rocky Top.

August 3, 2016 – An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study is providing an unprecedented watershed-scale understanding of mercury in soils and sediments. Researchers focused on evaluating mercury and soil properties along the banks of a mercury-contaminated stream in Oak Ridge, Tenn., sampling 145 locations and performing kayak-based video mapping. Ultimately, the work could help scientists develop sorbents and other technologies to bind or remove mercury from soils, said research team member John Dickson, a post-doc in the Environmental Sciences Division. Complete results will be presented in Phoenix at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America annual meeting in November.