Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


The San Francisco Bay-Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta has had a long history of mercury contamination stemming from the extensive mining and processing of mercury ore (Cinnabor-HgS) and the subsequent use of elemental mercury (Hg2+) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for the extraction of gold and other precious metals. This project began as an internship through MLML and is being done in part for use in the CALFED project "An Assessment of Ecological and Human Health Impacts of Mercury in the Bay-Delta Watershed". One of the CALFED project goals is to determine major sources and loads of bioavailable mercury for the Cache Creek and Bay-Delta watershed system. For my project I explored the use of TnTmips® by MicroImages, Inc. for the visualization and analysis of the source and extent of mercury contamination in the sediments of the aforementioned watersheds. I found that I was able to display a false data set as a color gradient for easier interpretation and I can readily duplicate the procedure once actual lab results become available. I also discovered a watershed analysis process in TnTmips® that, when given a starting (seed) point, will return vectors representing the area that drains to and the flow path from the chosen point. This process proved useful for limiting the number of mines in the watershed that could be the source of contamination, thus limiting the number mines that would need to be examined further for possible remediation.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute

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