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Title: Effects of burial by the disposal of dredged materials from the Columbia River on Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula)

Abstract

Annual maintenance of the Columbia River navigation channel requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to dredge sediment from the river and dispose of the sediment in coastal areas at the mouth of the Columbia River. Some of these disposal areas can be as shallow as 12 m deep in waters off the coastal beaches, and dredged material disposal activities have therefore raised concerns of impacts to local razor clam (Siliqua patula) populations that are prevalent in the area. The Corps’ Portland District requested that the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conduct laboratory experiments to evaluate the potential impacts of burial by dredged material to razor clams during disposal. Prior modeling of disposal events indicates three stresses that could have an impact on benthic invertebrates: convective descent and bottom encounter (compression forces due to bottom impact), dynamic collapse and spreading (surge as material washes over the bottom), and mounding (burial by material). Because the razor clam is infaunal, the effects of the first two components should be minimal, because the clams should be protected by substrate that is not eroded in the event and by the clams’ rapid digging capabilities. Themore » mound resulting from the disposal, however, would bury any clams remaining in the footprint under as much as 12 cm of new sediment according to modeling, and the clams’ reaction to such an event and to burial is not known. Although the literature suggests that razor clams may be negatively affected by siltation and therefore perhaps by dredging and disposal activity, as well, impacts of this type have not been demonstrated. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential impacts of dredge material disposal on adult subtidal razor clam populations at the mouth of the Columbia River. Using the parameters defined in a previous model, a laboratory study was created in which a slurry was added to experimental chambers seeded with adult razor clams to produce burial mounds of various thicknesses. The laboratory results presented here have two implications for disposal operations.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
903254
Report Number(s):
PNNL-16350
400403209; TRN: US200720%%134
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; COLUMBIA RIVER; DREDGE SPOIL; WASTE DISPOSAL; CLAMS; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS

Citation Formats

Vavrinec, John, Kohn, Nancy P., Hall, Kathleen D., and Romano, Brett A. Effects of burial by the disposal of dredged materials from the Columbia River on Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula). United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/903254.
Vavrinec, John, Kohn, Nancy P., Hall, Kathleen D., & Romano, Brett A. Effects of burial by the disposal of dredged materials from the Columbia River on Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula). United States. doi:10.2172/903254.
Vavrinec, John, Kohn, Nancy P., Hall, Kathleen D., and Romano, Brett A. Mon . "Effects of burial by the disposal of dredged materials from the Columbia River on Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula)". United States. doi:10.2172/903254. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/903254.
@article{osti_903254,
title = {Effects of burial by the disposal of dredged materials from the Columbia River on Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula)},
author = {Vavrinec, John and Kohn, Nancy P. and Hall, Kathleen D. and Romano, Brett A.},
abstractNote = {Annual maintenance of the Columbia River navigation channel requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to dredge sediment from the river and dispose of the sediment in coastal areas at the mouth of the Columbia River. Some of these disposal areas can be as shallow as 12 m deep in waters off the coastal beaches, and dredged material disposal activities have therefore raised concerns of impacts to local razor clam (Siliqua patula) populations that are prevalent in the area. The Corps’ Portland District requested that the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conduct laboratory experiments to evaluate the potential impacts of burial by dredged material to razor clams during disposal. Prior modeling of disposal events indicates three stresses that could have an impact on benthic invertebrates: convective descent and bottom encounter (compression forces due to bottom impact), dynamic collapse and spreading (surge as material washes over the bottom), and mounding (burial by material). Because the razor clam is infaunal, the effects of the first two components should be minimal, because the clams should be protected by substrate that is not eroded in the event and by the clams’ rapid digging capabilities. The mound resulting from the disposal, however, would bury any clams remaining in the footprint under as much as 12 cm of new sediment according to modeling, and the clams’ reaction to such an event and to burial is not known. Although the literature suggests that razor clams may be negatively affected by siltation and therefore perhaps by dredging and disposal activity, as well, impacts of this type have not been demonstrated. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential impacts of dredge material disposal on adult subtidal razor clam populations at the mouth of the Columbia River. Using the parameters defined in a previous model, a laboratory study was created in which a slurry was added to experimental chambers seeded with adult razor clams to produce burial mounds of various thicknesses. The laboratory results presented here have two implications for disposal operations.},
doi = {10.2172/903254},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 07 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Mon May 07 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Dredging of the Columbia River navigation channel has raised concerns about dredging-related impacts on Dungeness crabs (Cancer magister). The overall objectives of this effort are to synthesize what is known about disposal effects on Dungeness crabs (Phase 1) and to offer approaches to quantify the effects, including approaches to gain a population-level perspective on any effects found in subsequent studies (Phase 2). This report documents Phase 1, which included (1) development of a conceptual model to integrate knowledge about crab biology and the physical processes occurring during disposal, (2) application of physics-based numerical modeling of the disposal event to understandmore » the physical forces and processes to which a crab might be exposed during disposal, (3) conduct of a vulnerability analysis to identify the potential mechanisms by which crabs may be injured, and (4) recommendations of topics and approaches for future studies to assess the potential population-level effects of disposal on Dungeness crabs. The conceptual model first recognizes that disposal of dredged materials is a physically dynamic process with three aspects: (1) convective descent and bottom encounter, (2) dynamic collapse and spreading, and (3) mounding. Numerical modeling was used to assess the magnitude of the potentially relevant forces and extent of mounding in single disposal events. The modeling outcomes show that predicted impact pressure, shear stress, and mound depth are greatly reduced by discharge in deep water, and somewhat reduced at longer discharge duration. The analysis of numerical modeling results and vulnerabilities indicate that the vulnerability of crabs to compression forces under any of the disposal scenarios is low. For the deep-water disposal scenarios, the maximum forces and mounding do not appear to be sufficiently high enough to warrant concern for surge currents or burial at the depths involved (over 230 ft). For the shallow-water (45 to 65 ft), short-duration disposal scenarios, the shear force and surge currents estimated from the modeling and observed previously in the field at Palos Verdes, California appear to be sufficiently high to mobilize and transport the bottom sediment and at least juvenile crab. Behavioral response to surge currents probably occurs and may reduce the occurrence and extent of movement and any associated impacts. There evidence that burial by dredged materials can effect crab survival, but confounding factors in previous experiments preclude conclusions about thresholds and extent of effects. We recommend that future studies focus on burial effects during shallow water, short duration disposal events and take into account the potential for behavioral responses to mitigate any effects.« less
  • Dredging of the Columbia River navigation channel has raised concerns about dredging-related impacts on Dungeness crabs (Cancer magister) in the estuary, mouth of the estuary, and nearshore ocean areas adjacent to the Columbia River. The Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers engaged the Marine Sciences Laboratory (MSL) of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to review the state of knowledge and conduct studies concerning impacts on Dungeness crabs resulting from disposal during the Columbia River Channel Improvement Project and annual maintenance dredging in the mouth of the Columbia River. The present study concerns potential effects onmore » Dungeness crabs from dredged material disposal specific to the mouth of the Columbia River.« less
  • The Hudson River (Federal Project No. 41) was one of seven waterways that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District (USACE-NYD) requested the Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory (MSL) to sample and evaluate for dredging and disposal in March 1994. Sediment samples were collected from the Hudson River. Tests and analyses were conducted on Hudson River sediment core samples. The evaluation of proposed dredged material from the Hudson River included bulk sediment chemical analyses, chemical analyses of site water and elutriate, water-column and benthic acute toxicity tests, and bioaccumulation studies. Individual sediment core samples collected from Hudson River were analyzedmore » for grain size, moisture content, and total organic carbon (TOC). A composite sediment sample, representing the entire area proposed for dredging, was analyzed for bulk density, specific gravity, metals, chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and 1,4-dichlorobenzene. Site water and elutriate water, prepared from the suspended-particulate phase (SPP) of Hudson River sediment, were analyzed for metals, pesticides, and PCBS. Water-column or SPP toxicity tests were performed with three species. Benthic acute toxicity tests were performed. Bioaccumulation tests were also conducted.« less
  • The objective of the Shark River Project was to evaluate proposed dredged material to determine its suitability for unconfined ocean disposal at the Mud Dump Site. Tests and analyses were conducted on the Shark River sediments. The evaluation of proposed dredged material consisted of bulk sediment chemical and physical analysis, chemical analyses of dredging site water and elutriate, water-column and benthic acute toxicity tests, and bioaccumulation tests. Individual sediment core samples collected from the Shark River were analyzed for grain size, moisture content, and total organic carbon (TOC). One sediment composite was analyzed for bulk density, specific gravity, metals, chlorinatedmore » pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 1,4- dichlorobenzene. Dredging site water and elutriate, prepared from suspended-particulate phase (SPP) of the Shark River sediment composite, were analyzed for metals, pesticides, and PCBs. Benthic acute toxicity tests and bioaccumulation tests were performed.« less
  • The objective of the Bronx River project was to evaluate proposed dredged material from the Bronx River project area in Bronx, New York, to determine its suitability for unconfined ocean disposal at the Mud Dump Site. Bronx River was one of five waterways that the US Army Corps of Engineers-New York District (USAGE-NYD) requested the Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory (MSL) to sample and to evaluate for dredging and disposal. Sediment samples were submitted for physical and chemical analyses, chemical analyses of dredging site water and elutriate, benthic and water-column acute toxicity tests, and bioaccumulation studies. Fifteen individual sediment core samplesmore » collected from the Bronx River project area were analyzed for grain size, moisture content, and total organic carbon (TOC). One composite sediment sample, representing the entire reach of the area proposed for dredging, was analyzed for bulk density, specific gravity, metals, chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and 1,4- dichlorobenzene. Dredging site water and elutriate water, which was prepared from the suspended-particulate phase (SPP) of the Bronx River sediment composite, were analyzed for metals, pesticides, and PCBS.« less