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Element concentrations in the freshwater mussel, Velesunio angasi, in the Alligator Rivers region

Allison, H.E. and Simpson, R.D. (1989) Element concentrations in the freshwater mussel, Velesunio angasi, in the Alligator Rivers region. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, Australia.

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Abstract

The freshwater mussel, Velesunio angasi, was investigated as a possible biological monitor for the waterbodies around the uranium mining ventures in the Alligator Rivers region of the Northern Territory. The majority of the study centred around the Magela Creek system with comparative work on Nourlangie and Cooper creeks, and on the Finniss River. The mussel accumulates biologically available pollutants over time. Concentrations of fourteen elements (Al, As, Ba, Ca, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mg, Mn, Pb, S, Se, U, Zn) were determined in the soft parts of mussels collected from the field. Most of the elements were chosen because they are considered to be potential pollutants. In addition Ca and Mg were chosen for possible synergistic or antagonistic chemical relationships with other elements. The sampling strategy for these analyses was designed to (1) determine baseline data before mining operations commenced - ie natural levels of the elements in the soft parts of mussels; (2) identify differences in these levels in the mussel soft parts with differences in (a) location and time, (b) environmental conditions and (c) the biology of the mussels; (3) provide an estimate of the dietary intake by Aboriginal people of elements from mussels. Experiments were also undertaken to evaluate uptake and loss of some elements by mussel organs. under field conditions.

Publication Type: Report
Series Name: Technical Memorandum 25
Publisher: Australian Government Publishing Service
Copyright: © Commonwealth of Australia
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/14707
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