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The application of passive sampler (DGT) technology for improved understanding of metal behaviour at a marine disposal site

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Metal behaviour and availability at a contaminated dredge material disposal site within UK waters has been investigated using Diffusive Gradient in Thin films (DGT) passive sampling technology. Three stations representing contrasting history and presence of maintenance dredge disposal, including a control station outside the disposal site, have been studied and depth profiles of fluxes of different metals (Fe, Mn, Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr, Ni, Zn) to the binding gel (Chelex 100) have been derived. Higher flux rates and shallower mobilisation of metals (Mn and Fe) to the binding gel were observed at the disposal stations compared to the control station. Here we describe metal mobilization at different depths, linking the remobilization of Fe2+ and Mn2+ to the sediment (re)supply of other heavy metals of interest with a focus on Cd, Ni and Pb and as they are on the Water Framework Directive (WFD) list of priority substances and OSPAR list of priority pollutants. Results showed that Cd, Pb and Ni exhibited signs of resupply at the sediment-water interface (SWI). There was a potential increased mobilisation and source to the water column of Pb and Ni at the disposal site stations, but there was no Cd source, despite higher total loadings. This information has the potential to improve our current understanding of metal cycles at disposal sites. This work can be used as an indication of likely metal bioavailability and also assist in determining whether the sites act as sources or sinks of heavy metals. This information could assist disposal site monitoring and dredge material licensing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number02002
Pages (from-to)02002
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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