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Title: Sediment transport and Hg recovery in Lavaca Bay, as evaluated from radionuclide and Hg distributions

Abstract

Mercury was released in the late 1960s from a chloralkali facility managed by ALCOA and deposited into sediments of Lavaca Bay, TX. Sediments have recorded this event as a well-defined subsurface concentration maximum. Radionuclide, mercury, X-radiography, and grain size data from sediment cores taken in 1997 at 15 stations in Lavaca bay were used to assess sediment and Hg movements in the bay. Sediment accumulation rates were calculated from bomb fallout nuclide ({sup 137}Cs, {sup 239,240}Pu) peaks in 1963 and from the steady-state delivery of {sup 210}Pb from the atmosphere. Sedimentation rates are highest at near-shore sites near the ALCOA facility and generally decrease away from shore. Sedimentation rates in some areas are likely influenced by anthropogenic activities such as dredging. Particle reworking, as assessed from {sup 7}Be measurements, is generally restricted to the upper 2--7 cm of sediments. Numerical simulations of Hg profiles using measured sedimentation and mixing parameters indicate that at most sites high remnant mercury concentrations at 15--60 cm depth cannot supply substantial amounts of Hg to surface sediments. Assuming no future Hg supplies, Hg concentrations in surface sediments are predicted to decrease exponentially with a recovery half-time of 4 {+-} 2 years.

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]; ;  [3]
  1. Texas A and M Univ., Galveston, TX (United States)
  2. Parametrix, Inc., Houston, TX (United States)
  3. Aluminum Co. of America, Point Comfort, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
323802
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science and Technology; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: PBD: 1 Feb 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; WATER POLLUTION; MERCURY; SEDIMENTS; ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT; BAYS; TEXAS; MONITORING; TRACER TECHNIQUES; RADIOISOTOPES

Citation Formats

Santschi, P.H., Allison, M.A., Asbill, S., Perlet, A.B., Cappellino, S., Dobbs, C., and McShea, L.. Sediment transport and Hg recovery in Lavaca Bay, as evaluated from radionuclide and Hg distributions. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.1021/es980378l.
Santschi, P.H., Allison, M.A., Asbill, S., Perlet, A.B., Cappellino, S., Dobbs, C., & McShea, L.. Sediment transport and Hg recovery in Lavaca Bay, as evaluated from radionuclide and Hg distributions. United States. doi:10.1021/es980378l.
Santschi, P.H., Allison, M.A., Asbill, S., Perlet, A.B., Cappellino, S., Dobbs, C., and McShea, L.. Mon . "Sediment transport and Hg recovery in Lavaca Bay, as evaluated from radionuclide and Hg distributions". United States. doi:10.1021/es980378l.
@article{osti_323802,
title = {Sediment transport and Hg recovery in Lavaca Bay, as evaluated from radionuclide and Hg distributions},
author = {Santschi, P.H. and Allison, M.A. and Asbill, S. and Perlet, A.B. and Cappellino, S. and Dobbs, C. and McShea, L.},
abstractNote = {Mercury was released in the late 1960s from a chloralkali facility managed by ALCOA and deposited into sediments of Lavaca Bay, TX. Sediments have recorded this event as a well-defined subsurface concentration maximum. Radionuclide, mercury, X-radiography, and grain size data from sediment cores taken in 1997 at 15 stations in Lavaca bay were used to assess sediment and Hg movements in the bay. Sediment accumulation rates were calculated from bomb fallout nuclide ({sup 137}Cs, {sup 239,240}Pu) peaks in 1963 and from the steady-state delivery of {sup 210}Pb from the atmosphere. Sedimentation rates are highest at near-shore sites near the ALCOA facility and generally decrease away from shore. Sedimentation rates in some areas are likely influenced by anthropogenic activities such as dredging. Particle reworking, as assessed from {sup 7}Be measurements, is generally restricted to the upper 2--7 cm of sediments. Numerical simulations of Hg profiles using measured sedimentation and mixing parameters indicate that at most sites high remnant mercury concentrations at 15--60 cm depth cannot supply substantial amounts of Hg to surface sediments. Assuming no future Hg supplies, Hg concentrations in surface sediments are predicted to decrease exponentially with a recovery half-time of 4 {+-} 2 years.},
doi = {10.1021/es980378l},
journal = {Environmental Science and Technology},
number = 3,
volume = 33,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 1999},
month = {Mon Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 1999}
}