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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 11 No. 1, p. 102-106
    Received: Jan 24, 1981

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Toxicity of Anakeesta Formation Leachates to Shovel-Nosed Salamander, Great Smoky Mountains National Park1

  1. Raymond C. Mathews and
  2. Eric L. Morgan2



Following reconstruction of U.S. Highway 441 in 1963 near New-found Gap, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, aquatic life was almost completely eliminated in stream areas immediately downstream from the construction site. In Beech Flats Prong, for example, aquatic life was virtually absent for approximately 8 km downstream from highway roadcut and fill areas. Salamander (Leurognathus marmoratus) mortality in this stream area was attributed to acidic heavy metal leachate formed through redox processes associated with pyritic content of the Anakeesta roadfill bedrock. To evaluate the lethality of simulated leachate, salamanders were subjected to 96-hour time-until-death acute toxicological assays under laboratory conditions. In this study, leachate components derived from Anakeesta rock thought to be contributing jointly to intoxication processes were elevated acidity and heavy metal concentrations.

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