Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 143, Issue 1, pp 23-40

First online:

Metal Remobilisation during Resuspension of Anoxic Contaminated Sediment: Short-Term Laboratory Study

  • Miguel CaetanoAffiliated withInstituto de Investigaç ão das Pescas e do Mar, IPIMAR Email author 
  • , Maria-João MadureiraAffiliated withInstituto de Investigaç ão das Pescas e do Mar, IPIMAR
  • , Carlos ValeAffiliated withInstituto de Investigaç ão das Pescas e do Mar, IPIMAR

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The sediments of the Tagus estuary North Channel arecharacterised by high concentrations of trace metals andmonosulphides. During dredging operations Cd, Cu and Pb wereanalysed in water and suspended sediments collected 50 to 100 m around the dredging point. Concentrations in bothfractions fluctuated randomly: 2–3 fold for Cd and Cu and 10 for Pb. Since sampling in the dredging point reflectsintegration of rapid chemical reactions, a short-termlaboratory experiment was conducted to follow the geochemicalalterations occurring in the highest turbidity sites. Theexperiment was monitored as a function of time over a period of4 hr in short time intervals. Dissolved oxygen, pH, EH,AVS, SO4 2-, Cl- and metals were monitored in theslurry samples. Iron, Mn, Cd, Pb and Cu were determined in thedissolved fraction (<0.45 μm), in the reactive solid phaseand in the total fraction. Resuspension resulted in asignificant release of Fe, Mn, Cd, Cu and Pb from the solids.Following the release Pb and Cu were almost totally scavengedin the 4 hr by the newly precipitated Fe oxyhydroxides, while more than 50% of the mobilised Cd remained in the dissolved fraction. The less efficient removal of Cd from solution implies a prolonged availability of this metal in the environment.

AVS oxidation dredging remobilisation sediment trace metals