Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011KY165B

Effects of streambed sediments on the fate of selenium in eastern Kentucky watersheds contaminated with surface coal mining operations

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-12-31
Total Federal Funds: $4,996 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,002

Principal Investigators: Yi-Tin Wang

Abstract: We will collect both water and streambed sediment samples from Line Fork Creek and one of its tributaries located in the Upper Kentucky River Basin in Letcher County, Kentucky. The samples will be analyzed in the laboratory using batch reactors to determine the relationship between sediments and selenium in the water phase. The overall objective of the proposed study is to obtain a better understanding of the interactions between streambed sediments and selenium in the contaminated watersheds. The specific aims are: 1) to investigate the potential for microbial communities found in the streambed sediments to reduce selenium in watersheds contaminated by coal deposits, 2) to isolate and identify selenium-reducing bacteria from streambed sediments 3) to determine environmental factors affecting microbial reduction of selenium, and 4) to evaluate abiotic mechanisms affecting the interactions between streambed sediments and selenium in the liquid phase.