The stability of marine sediments at a tidal basin in San Francisco Bay amended with activated carbon for sequestration of organic contaminants

John R. Zimmerman, Jeremy D. Bricker, Craig Jones, Philip J. Dacunto, Robert L. Street, Richard G. Luthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent laboratory studies show that adding activated carbon to marine sediments reduces the bioavailability of persistent organic contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, to benthic organisms. The present work investigates how mixing activated carbon into cohesive sediment affects the stability of sediment obtained from the intertidal zone at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Superfund site in South Basin, San Francisco Bay, CA. Our results show for these sediments that mixing activated carbon into sediment does not significantly affect stability of surface sediments, as measured by sediment erosion rate and critical shear stress for incipient motion, thus supporting the potential field application of this technique for in situ stabilization of persistent organic contaminants. Hydrodynamic modeling was used to estimate the maximum bottom shear stress encountered during high-wind storm events at the estuarine inlet from which the sediments were obtained. Comparison of estimated bottom shear stresses with measured critical shear stresses shows that surface sediments will not erode under normal, non-storm conditions. Bottom shear stresses caused by large waves under infrequent high-wind storm conditions may erode surface sediments for short periods of time. We conclude from sediment stability tests and hydrodynamic modeling that mixing activated carbon amendment with cohesive sediment at selected locations within South Basin will not reduce surface sediment stability nor result in significant erosion of treated sediments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4133-4145
Number of pages13
JournalWater Research
Volume42
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sep

Keywords

  • Carbon amendment
  • Sedflume
  • Sediment stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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