Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 5, pp 3613–3624 | Cite as

Enhanced semipermanent dialysis samplers for long-term environmental monitoring in saturated sediments

  • Luke H. MacDonald
  • Jeffery S. Paull
  • Peter R. JafféEmail author


The ability to sample in situ natural environmental processes has proven to be challenging when working with redox-sensitive contaminates in saturated sediments in wetland systems, especially within the rhizosphere, where sharp redox gradients are common. Many traditional approaches are invasive and disturb natural sediment chemistry. Through laboratory and field studies, the work presented in this study demonstrates a novel semipermanent dialysis sampler that allows for long-term, anaerobic monitoring of shallow sediments. Dialysis samplers were deployed and tested for over 1 year while being exposed to extremes in climate. These newly designed devices produce statistically reproducible data and capture sensitive redox trends. Results from the newly designed samplers were compared to conventional samplers. Initially, both the new and old designs yielded statistically similar data, but these data diverged over a period of months. The new devices are less invasive, so data gathered from these devices are more likely to be a closer representation of true conditions in the subsurface. By giving reliable data from a consistent location in space, these new samplers represent a significant step forward in capturing spatial and temporal variability in wetland redox chemistry during long-term monitoring.


Dialysis sampler Rhizosphere Biogeochemical processes Trace metal contamination Redox chemistry 



Funding for this research was provided by DuPont Corporation and the NJ Meadowlands Commission. MacDonald was supported by EPA-STAR Graduate Research Fellowship F5A20133. The authors would like to thank Joe Vocoturo for assistance with sampler body CAD drawings and the Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for manufacturing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke H. MacDonald
    • 1
  • Jeffery S. Paull
    • 2
  • Peter R. Jaffé
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Global Water ProgramJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Environmental SecurityU.S. Marine Corps BaseCamp PendletonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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