Modeling Tools Used for Mercury TMDLs in Georgia Rivers
Ambrose, Robert B.
Wool, Tim A.
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Total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) were developed for mercury in six south Georgia rivers and the Savannah River. Mercury is introduced to these rivers by atmospheric deposition, watershed runoff, and small point source loadings. To produce mercury TMDLs in these rivers, the GIS-based Watershed Characterization System (WCS) and a mercury delivery spreadsheet were developed and applied with the water pollutant fate model WASPS. Together, these models calculate mercury buildup in watershed soils, loading and delivery through the watershed tributary system, and mercury fate in the main stem rivers. These models were applied to six south Georgia rivers and checked against survey data gathered during drought conditions in June, 2000. Despite environmental variability and scientific uncertainties, calculated mercury concentrations in soils, sediment, and water compared reasonably well with the observed data. Example calculations from the Upper Ochlockonee River are given here.