The Project will develop visualization and prediction tools for mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in the Delta by linking aqueous Hg and MeHg concentrations with other water quality parameters that are more easily and rapidly measured as part of a continuous water quality monitoring network and via satellite remote sensing (RS). The development of robust relationships will expand the spatial and temporal resolution of Hg and MeHg concentration measurements within the Delta. The resulting tool will provide a more cost-effective approach to monitoring Delta water quality and provide the data needed to 1) quantify spatial and temporal gradients of THg and MeHg in Delta waters, and 2) understand the local and regional effects of large-scale wetland restoration projects, such as that planned for the McCormack Williamson Tract in the North Delta.
Regents of University of California, Merced
Specific Objectives are to:
• Improve understanding of diurnal and seasonal variability by establishing fixed continuous monitoring locations in 2 locations with no previous continuous optical monitoring, and enable continuous monitoring at 4 total stations in the Delta.
• Characterize the spatial and seasonal variability of Hg species and optical water quality parameters Delta-wide by collecting discrete surface water samples periodically at continuous monitoring stations and conducting spatial transect cruises.
• Create proxies for Hg and MeHg for cost effective monitoring by developing multivariate predictive models between Hg and non-Hg water quality parameters.
• Map optical water quality and Hg species using satellite remote sensing data with well-characterized uncertainty by creating and refining algorithms that link the optical properties of surface water, as measured by satellite, to the optical water quality properties measured in situ.
• Assess the status and trends of Hg and other optical water quality parameters for the past 5 years, including specifically:
o quantifying the seasonality and persistence of the central Delta low-MeHg zone, and
o characterizing Hg and MeHg dynamics downstream of a newly restored wetland.
Monitoring, Research/Planning (including Science)
Project Benefits a Disadvantaged Community (or SDAC):