Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center

Integrated Methods Development Project

Geochemical Methods - Biotic Ligand Model Studies

Subtask Objectives

The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) recently was incorporated into the United States regulatory framework governing site-specific water quality criteria for Cu, and other countries now are evaluating whether they also should move in that direction. However, the robustness of the Biotic Ligand Model for a wide range of geochemical conditions and for other potentially toxic metals (Cd, Pb, or Zn) needs further evaluation; in particular, work needs to:

  1. Better define the links between metal concentrations in solution at which 50% mortality occurs (LC50) and metal accumulation on the biotic ligand at 50% mortality (LA50),
  2. Assess the role of Fe and Al on speciation calculations, particularly in mine drainage systems,
  3. Define the appropriate model that describes interactions between dissolved humic substances and metals, and
  4. Examine multi-metal solutions where competition among humic substances, inorganic ligands, biotic ligands, and metals occurs.

Work in this subtask will use a combination of laboratory and modeling experiments to test the robustness of the Biotic Ligand Model for a range of biogeochemical conditions and for other potentially toxic metals. The results of this work will feed into the Development of Mineral Environmental Assessment Methodologies Project, specifically in developing methods to assess biological effects in surface waters.

Products

Invited Presentations

  • University of Western Australia, Centre for Water Research (September 2008)
  • American Chemical Society, Special Session honoring James Leckie (March 2009)
  • University of California-Berkeley, Environmental Engineering Seminar Series (April 2009)
  • University of Washington, Earth and Space Sciences Seminar Series (April 2009)
  • Conference on DGT and the Environment (October 2009)

Presentations

  • Balistrieri, L.S., and Blank, R.G., 2009, Dissolved and labile metal concentrations: Comparisons among thermodynamic speciation models and implications for biotic ligand models: Invited talk, The 237th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, March 22-26, 2009.
  • Balistrieri, L.S., Seal, R.R., II, Piatak, N., Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., and Paul B., 2009, The cycling of Cu and Zn in a river affected by acid mine drainage: Isotopic fractionation, speciation, and toxicity: Invited talks, University of CA-Berkeley & University of WA, April 2009.
  • Balistrieri, L.S.,Seal, R.R., II, Piatak, N., Borrok, D.M., Wanty, R.B, Ridley, W.I., and Paul, B., 2008, The cycling of Cu & Zn in a river affected by acid rock drainage: Dissolved and labile concentrations, toxicity, and isotopic fractionation: Iinvited talk, University of Western Australia, September 2008.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., and Adams, M.K., 2008, Influence of underlying geology on aquatic metal toxicity - simulations using the Biotic Ligand Model: Invited oral presentation, ITRC Mining Waste Team Meeting, Denver, Colorado, May 28, 2008.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Diedrich, D.J., and McKnight, D.M., 2008, Influence of organic matter fractionation on aquatic copper toxicity in mineralized environments: abstract and oral presentation, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, October 5-9, 2008.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Diedrich, D.J., McKnight, D.M., and Sofield, R.M., 2009, Consideration of iron-organic matter interactions when predicting aquatic toxicity of copper in mineralized areas: Oral presentation, Securing the Future and 8th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD), Skellefteå, Sweden, June 22-26, 2009.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Diedrich, D.J., McKnight, D.M., and Sofield, R.M., 2009, Consideration of iron-organic matter interactions when predicting aquatic toxicity of copper in mineralized areas: Abstract and oral presentation, 22nd Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Denver, Colorado, April 23-24, 2009.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Santore, R.C., and Adams, M.K., 2007, Anticipating potential environmental effects of aqueous metals in mineralized areas using the Biotic Ligand Model: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 39 (6) p. 102. View Smith GSA abstract.
  • Todd, A.S., Smith, K.S., and Ranville, J.F., 2008, An introduction to the Biotic Ligand Model: Invited oral presentation, ITRC Mining Waste Team Meeting, Denver, Colorado, May 28, 2008.

Reports, Articles, Book Chapters

  • Balistrieri, L. S.; Blank, R. G., 2008, Dissolved and labile concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in the South Fork Coeur d'Alene River, Idaho: Comparisons among chemical equilibrium models and implications for the biotic ligand model: Applied Geochemistry, 23, (12), pp. 3355-3371 doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2008.06.031.
  • Caruso, B.S., Cox, T.J., Runkel, R.L., Velleux, M.L., Bencala, K.E., Nordstrom, D.K., Julien, P.Y., Butler, B.A., Alpers, C.N., Marion, A., and Smith, K.S., 2008, Metals fate and transport modelling in streams and watersheds: State of the science and USEPA workshop review: Hydrological Processes, v. 22, pp. 4011-4021.
  • Smith, K.S., 2007, Strategies to predict metal mobility in surficial mining environments, Chapter 3, in DeGraff, J.V., ed., Reviews in Engineering Geology, v. 17, Understanding and Responding to Hazardous Substances at Mine Sites in the Western United States: Geological Society of America, pp. 25-45.
  • Todd, A.S., Brinkman, S., Wolf, R.E., Lamothe, P.J., Smith, K.S., and Ranville, J.F., 2009, An enriched stable-isotope approach to determine the gill-zinc binding properties of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) during acute zinc exposures in hard and soft waters: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28 (6), pp. 1233-1243.
  • Wildeman, T.R., Smith, K.S., and Ranville, J.F., 2007, A simple scheme to determine potential aquatic metal toxicity from mining wastes: Environmental Forensics Journal, v. 8, pp. 119-128.
  • Wolf, R.E., Todd, A.S., Brinkman, S., Lamothe, P.J., Smith, K.S., and Ranville, J.F., 2009, Measurement of total Zn and Zn isotope ratios by quadrupole ICP-MS for evaluation of Zn uptake in gills of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): Talanta, 80 (2), pp. 676-684.

Contact Information

Laurie Balistrieri
University of Washington, Box 355351
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-8966
Email: Laurie Balistrieri

Kathleen Smith
Box 25046 MS 964D Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046
Phone: 303-2236-5788
Email: Kathleen Smith

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