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PCB partitioning during sediment remobilization--a 1D column experiment

Abstract : Abstract Purpose Remobilization of polychlorobiphenyl (PCB)-contaminated sediments by anthropogenic activities (e.g. dredging) or natural flow conditions could lead to the release of PCBs into the water column and consequently increase the availability of PCBs to benthic organisms. The fate of the released PCBs following such events is not well understood and such knowledge is necessary for the management of contaminated sediments. The objective of this study was to understand the processes that control the fate of PCBs following remobilization of field-aged contaminated sediments. Materials and methods Sediments contaminated with PCBs collected fromLake Bourget (Savoie, France) were resuspended in a column experiment. The relationships between physical- chemical parameters--i.e. suspended particulate matter, pH, inorganic and organic carbon content, redox-sensitive species and the concentrations of dissolved PCBs both in the water column and in the interstitial water of the sediment--were investigated so as to determine the key processes controlling PCB fate. Results and discussion Following the simulated resuspension event (SRE), dissolved PCBs were found in much higher concentrations in the water column than under stationary conditions. Desorption of PCBs from the sediment depended on the degree of the hydrophobicity of the PCBs and the initial PCB content in the sediment. Principal component analysis showed that the variations in the concentrations of released PCBs over time and space closely followed those of suspended particulate matter (SPM) and not those of redox conditions. The partitioning behaviour of PCBs on SPM showed that equilibrium state was not attained within 40 days following the SRE. A particle size fractionation study, before and after remobilization of the sediment, showed the presence of PCBs in every fraction of the sediment, but with higher amounts in large particles with high organic matter content and in the finest fractions. Remobilization of contaminated sediment did not affect this distribution profoundly but a significant enrichment in PCBs of the clay-sized fraction was observed in the re-settled sediment. Conclusions Sediment resuspension induced non-equilibrium conditions in the water column for more than 5 weeks and led to the enrichment with PCBs of the newly formed surface bed sediment. This enrichment was due to the preferential resorption of PCBs on clay-sized particles during the SRE and to the physical segregation and accumulation of the less dense particles at the surface of the sediment column; such particles thought to be the principal carriers of contaminants. These changes concerned <0.05 % of the total PCB content.
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Contributeur : Maha Chalhoub <>
Soumis le : mardi 16 juillet 2013 - 18:42:52
Dernière modification le : jeudi 25 juin 2020 - 14:54:33

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Maha Chalhoub, Laurence Amalric, Solène Touzé, Pierre Galle-Cavalloni, Pascal E. Reiller, et al.. PCB partitioning during sediment remobilization--a 1D column experiment. Journal of Soils and Sediments, Springer Verlag, 2013, 13 (7), pp.1284-1300. ⟨10.1007/s11368-013-0683-5⟩. ⟨hal-00845334⟩

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