Final Report: Sediment Resuspension and Contaminant Transport in an Estuary.

EPA Grant Number: R825513C001
Subproject: this is subproject number 001 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825513
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC
Center Director: Reible, Danny D.
Title: Sediment Resuspension and Contaminant Transport in an Estuary.
Investigators: Adams, C. E. , Ferrell, R. E.
Institution: Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1995 through January 1, 1996
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


The purpose of this research was to gain a better quantitative understanding of the physical, chemical, and sedimentary mechanisms and processes responsible for the fate and transport of contaminants released to the water column through natural resuspension processes in aquatic environments and, by analogy, through the excavation and disposal of dredge spoil. Specific objectives of the project were:

· tested the hypothesis that the rate at which sediments and contaminants ( ) are released to the water column is a function of fluid turbulence level ( 0 ), the microstructural fabric of sediment particles and aggregates, and the length of time that the particles and aggregates remain in suspension.

· determined relationships between the physical nature and magnitude of resuspension events and turbidity levels, establish flux profiles for sediments and contaminants in the presence of horizontal wave-orbital and translational currents, and insofar as possible, develop transfer functions for scaling natural resuspension, transport, and deposition events to similar processes acting during dredging operations.

· investigated the direct role that mineral aggregates play in providing sites for the isolation of inorganic and synthetic organic chemicals from the prevailing chemical environment.

· compare and contrast field observations with available relevant laboratory data and develop scaling parameters where possible.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

The research consisted of an integrated program of field data collection and laboratory analysis. Data acquisition was done in Prien Lake, a shallow reach of the Calcasieu River system lying to the east of the man-made navigation cutoff channel. Prien Lake was an ideal location for at least three reasons: 1) an inlet of the lake is contiguous with the outlet of Bayou d'Inde thereby facilitating through-flow of suspended sediment, 2) the long axis of the lake is aligned in the direction of the strongest winds ensuring the development of strong current and wave induced bottom stresses during storms, and 3) earlier studies have shown lake sediments to be severely contaminated.

A preliminary bathymetric survey of Prien Lake was performed and a number of bottom sediment samples were taken to help accurately characterize the bottom. A system for studying benthic boundary layers called BLIPS (Adams, et al., 1990) was used to measure current (3 components), temperatures, and water turbidities at 5 levels above the bed at a sampling rate of 1/4 sec thus elucidating the vertical distributions of velocity and suspended sediment at boundary layer space scales and near turbulence scales. In addition a conductivity probe measures salinity continuously at one level above the bed while a pressure transducer documents surface wave activity. The sampling schedule was flexible but typically burst sampling for 17 minute intervals, every hour was accomplished. This deployment allows acquisition of 2-3 wind and surface wave driven resuspension events.

During two wind resuspension events, a water and sediment sampling program was conducted at the BLIPS site. The program entailed the collection of water samples at three depths, surface, mid-depth, and bottom and a short sediment core ( 0.5m) which was sub-sampled at five levels. Water and sediment samples were taken prior to, during and subsequent to a cold front passage. During sampling activities, pH and Eh water column profiles were measured by electrode methods. Dissolved chemicals were operationally defined as those passing through a 0.25 mm Nucleopore filter, and the measured concentrations will be compared with the sediment values in order to calculate the distribution coefficient (Kd) for the compounds of interest. Water from two of the sampling experiments were analyzed for major anions and cations in order to assess trace metal stabilities by the MINTEQ program.

After the first project year a preliminary conceptual model for erosion and sediment transport was established, and the analytical procedures perfected and simplified. Preliminary models coupling sediment resuspension and trace substance transport or sedimentation were generated in preparation for testing and confirmation.

Supplemental Keywords:

fate and transport, dredging, and sediment dynamics., Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemical Engineering, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Analytical Chemistry, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, environmental technology, sediment treatment, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, risk assessment, fate and transport, estuary, contaminated marine sediment, soil and groundwater remediation, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, kinetics, chemical contaminants, hazardous waste, contaminated soil, Prien Lake, bioremediation of soils, marine sediments, remediation, chemical kinetics, hydrology, biotransformation, currents, anaerobic biotransformation, extraction of metals, technology transfer, heavy metals, bioremediation, CERCLA, aquifer fate and treatment, technical outreach

Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R825513    HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R825513C001 Sediment Resuspension and Contaminant Transport in an Estuary.
R825513C002 Contaminant Transport Across Cohesive Sediment Interfaces.
R825513C003 Mobilization and Fate of Inorganic Contaminant due to Resuspension of Cohesive Sediment.
R825513C004 Source Identification, Transformation, and Transport Processes of N-, O- and S- Containing Organic Chemicals in Wetland and Upland Sediments.
R825513C005 Mobility and Transport of Radium from Sediment and Waste Pits.
R825513C006 Anaerobic Biodegradation of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene and Other Nitroaromatic Compounds by Clostridium Acetobutylicum.
R825513C007 Investigation on the Fate and Biotransformation of Hexachlorobutadiene and Chlorobenzenes in a Sediment-Water Estuarine System
R825513C008 An Investigation of Chemical Transport from Contaminated Sediments through Porous Containment Structures
R825513C009 Evaluation of Placement and Effectiveness of Sediment Caps
R825513C010 Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
R825513C011 Pollutant Fluxes to Aquatic Systems via Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
R825513C012 Controls on Metals Partitioning in Contaminated Sediments
R825513C013 Phytoremediation of TNT Contaminated Soil and Groundwaters
R825513C014 Sediment-Based Remediation of Hazardous Substances at a Contaminated Military Base
R825513C015 Effect of Natural Dynamic Changes on Pollutant-Sediment Interaction
R825513C016 Desorption of Nonpolar Organic Pollutants from Historically Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials
R825513C017 Modeling Air Emissions of Organic Compounds from Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials title change in last year to "Long-term Release of Pollutants from Contaminated Sediment Dredged Material"
R825513C018 Development of an Integrated Optic Interferometer for In-Situ Monitoring of Volatile Hydrocarbons
R825513C019 Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Material
R825513C020 Bioremediation of Sediments Contaminated with Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
R825513C021 Role of Particles in Mobilizing Hazardous Chemicals in Urban Runoff
R825513C022 Particle Transport and Deposit Morphology at the Sediment/Water Interface
R825513C023 Uptake of Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Sediments
R825513C024 Bioavailability of Desorption Resistant Hydrocarbons in Sediment-Water Systems.
R825513C025 Interactive Roles of Microbial and Spartina Populations in Mercury Methylation Processes in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments in Salt-Marsh Systems
R825513C026 Evaluation of Physical-Chemical Methods for Rapid Assessment of the Bioavailability of Moderately Polar Compounds in Sediments
R825513C027 Freshwater Bioturbators in Riverine Sediments as Enhancers of Contaminant Release
R825513C028 Characterization of Laguna Madre Contaminated Sediments.
R825513C029 The Role of Competitive Adsorption of Suspended Sediments in Determining Partitioning and Colloidal Stability.
R825513C030 Remediation of TNT-Contaminated Soil by Cyanobacterial Mat.
R825513C031 Experimental and Detailed Mathematical Modeling of Diffusion of Contaminants in Fluids
R825513C033 Application of Biotechnology in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments
R825513C034 Characterization of PAH's Degrading Bacteria in Coastal Sediments
R825513C035 Dynamic Aspects of Metal Speciation in the Miami River Sediments in Relation to Particle Size Distribution of Chemical Heterogeneity