Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Urbanization impacts fluvial systems via a combination of changes in sediment chemistry and basin hydrology. While chemical changes in urban soils have been well characterized, similar surveys of riparian sediments in urbanized areas are rare. Metal concentrations were measured in sediments collected from riparian areas across the urbanization gradient in Baltimore, MD. Average metal concentrations are similar to those observed in other regional studies. Two important spatial patterns are evident in the data. First, calcium concentrations double across the urbanization gradient, regardless of changes in underlying geochemistry at the boundary between the Eastern US Piedmont and Coastal Plain physiographic provinces. Alkali-earth metal ratios indicate that the additional Ca is very pure and possibly arises from cement common to urban systems. Second, hot spots of trace metals typically associated with urban systems (e.g., Cu, Zn, and Pb) occur in areas that have been artificially filled to create additional real estate in high land value areas. Together, these data indicate that riparian sediments exhibit unexpected patterns of metal contamination. If these sediments are remobilized, during events such as droughts or floods, this contamination may perpetuate legacy impacts to ecosystem health from a history of fluvial contamination.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Bain, Daniel J.; Yesilonis,Ian D.; Pouyat, Richard V. 2012. Metal concentrations in urban riparian sediments along an urbanization gradient. Biogeochemistry. 107: 67-79.


    Google Scholar


    Baltimore, calcium, trace metal fate and transport, urban fluvial systems

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page