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Barbara Mahler

Research Hydrologist

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Short Biography

Barbara grew up in northern California, where she learned to appreciate the value of water.  She received a B. Mus. in performance at Boston University; in 1986 she moved to Austin, Texas.  Combining her interest in water, mathematics, and the outdoors, she enrolled at the University of Texas and received her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Geology, with an emphasis on karst hydrology.  Her principal research interests are water quality of karst systems and source and fate of contaminated sediment.

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Van Metre, P.C., Majewski, M.S., Mahler, B.J., Foreman, W.T., Braun, C.L., Wilson, J.T., and Burbank, T.L. Volatilization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from coal-tar-sealed pavement. Chemosphere, 88(1):1-7. [Link]

Desmet, M., Mourier, B., Mahler, B.J., Van Metre, P., Roux, G., Persat, H., Lefèvre, Il, Peretti, A., Chapron, E., Simmonneau, A., Miège, C., and Babut, M. Spatial and temporal trends in PCBs in sediment along the lower Rhône River, France. Science of the Total Environment, 433:189-197.

Yang, Y., Van Metre, P.C., Mahler, B.J., Wilson, J.T., Ligouis, B., Razzaque, M., Schaeffer, C., and Werth, C. The influence of coal-tar sealcoat and other carbonaceous materials on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon loading in an urban watershed. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(4): 1217-1223. [Link]

Van Metre, P.C., and Mahler, B.J. Contribution of PAHs from coal-tar pavement sealcoat and other sources to 40 U.S. Lakes. Science of the Total Environment, 409: 334-344. [Link]

Yang, Y., Mahler, B.J., Van Metre, P.C., Ligouis, B., and Werth, C.J. Potential contributions of asphalt and coal tar to black carbon quantification in urban dust, soils, and sediment. Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74(23):6830-6840.

Mahler, B.J., Van Metre, P.C., Zaugg, S.D., Wilson, J.T., Musgrove, M., and Burkhardt, M.D. Fipronil and its degradates in indoor and outdoor dust. Environmental Science and Technology, 43: 5665-5670. [Link]

Van Metre, P.C., Mahler, B.J., and Wilson, J.T. 2009. PAHs underfoot: Contaminated dust from sealcoated pavement. Environ. Sci. Technol., 43:20-25. [Download File]

Mahler, B.J., Valdes, D., Massei, N., and Musgrove, M. 2008. Nutrient dynamics as indicators of karst processes: Comparison of the Chalk aquifer (Normandy, France) and the Edwards aquifer (Texas, U.S.A.). J. Contam. Hydrol., 98: 36-49.

Garner, B.D., and Mahler, B.J., 2007, Relation of specific conductance in ground water to intersection of flow paths by wells, and associated major ion and nitrate geochemistry, Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, Austin, Texas, 1978–2003: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5002, 39 p., 5 appendixes. [Link]

Mahler, B.J., and Massei, N., 2007, Anthropogenic contaminants as tracers in an urbanizing karst aquifer. J. Cont. Hydrol., 91: 81-106.

Mahler, B.J., Garner, B.D., Musgrove, M., Guilfoyle, A.L., and Rao, M.V., 2006, Recent (2003–05) water quality of Barton Springs, Austin, Texas, with emphasis on factors affecting variability: U.S. Geological Survey ScientificInvestigations Report 2006–5299, 83 p., 5 appendixes. [Link]

Mahler, B. J.; Van Metre, P. C.; Wilson, J. T.; Guilfoyle, A. L.; Sunvison, M. W., 2006. Concentrations, Loads, and Yields of Particle-Associated Contaminants in Urban Creeks, Austin, Texas, 1999-2004. Geological Survey (U.S.) Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5262, viii, 107 p. [Link]

Mahler, B.J., Van Metre, P.C., and Callender, E. 2006. Trends in metals in urban and reference lake sediments across the United States, 1975-2001.Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 25: 1698-1709. [Download File]

Van Metre, Peter C.; Mahler, Barbara J.; Scoggins, Mateo; Hamilton, Pixie A., 2005. Parking lot sealcoat: a major source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban and suburban environments. Fact Sheet 2005-3147, 4 p. [Link]

Mahler, B.J., Van Metre, P.C., Bashara, T.J., Wilson, J.T., and Johns, D.A. 2005. Parking lot sealcoat: An unrecognized source of urban PAH. Environ. Sci. Technol., 39: 5560-5566.

Van Metre, P.C. and Mahler, B.J. 2005. Trends in hydrophobic organic contaminants in urban and reference lake sediments across the United States, 1970-2001. Environ. Sci. Technol., 39: 5567-5574. [Download File]

Van Metre, P.C., and Mahler, B.J. 2004. Contaminant trends in reservoir sediment cores as records of influent stream quality. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38: 2978-2986. [Download File]

Van Metre, P.C., and Mahler, B.J. 2003. The contribution of particles washed from rooftops to contaminant loading to urban streams. Chemosphere, 52: 1727-1741. [Download File]

Van Metre, P.C., Mahler, B.J., and Furlong, E.T. 2000. Urban sprawl leaves its PAH signature. Environ. Sci. Technol., 34: 4064-4070. [Download File]

Mahler, B.J., and Lynch, F.L. 1999. Muddy waters: Temporal variation in sediment discharging from a karst spring. J. Hydrol., 214: 165-178.

Mahler, B.J., Lynch, F.L., Bennett, P.C. 1998. Mobile sediment in an urbanizing karst aquifer: implications for contaminant transport. Environ. Geol., 39:25-39.


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Environmental Issuescontamination and pollution
Environmental Issuesground-water quality
Environmental Issueshuman impacts
Environmental Issuesland use
Environmental Issuesland use change
Environmental Issuesnonpoint-source pollution
Environmental Issuespesticides and herbicides
Environmental Issuespharmaceuticals
Environmental Issuessurface water quality
Environmental Issueswater quality

Sediment geochemistry, karst aquifers

Image of Current Focus for Sediment geochemistry, karst aquifers

Reconstruction of contaminant histories using lake cores; identification and evaluation of contaminant sources; sources and fate of PAHs (including parking lot sealcoat).

Karst water quality; use of aqueous geochemistry to understand karst systems; relations between recharge and spring discharge.

Contact Information

Barbara Mahler
1505 Ferguson Lane
Austin, TX 78754
512-927-3590 - Fax
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