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In situ benthic flow-through chambers to determine sediment-to-water fluxes of legacy hydrophobic organic contaminants
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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2017 (English)In: Environmental Pollution, ISSN 0269-7491, E-ISSN 1873-6424, Vol. 231, p. 854-862Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Contaminated sediment can release hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) and thereby act as a secondary source of primarily legacy hazardous substances to the water column. There is therefore a need for assessments of the release of HOCs from contaminated sediment for prioritization of management actions. In situ assessment of HOC sediment-to-water flux is currently done with (closed) benthic flux chambers, which have a sampling time exceeding one month. During this time, the water inside the chamber is depleted of oxygen and the effect of bioturbation on the sediment-to-water release of HOCs is largely ignored. Here we present a novel benthic flux chamber, which measures sediment-to-water flux of legacy HOCs within days, and includes the effect of bioturbation since ambient oxygen levels inside the chamber are maintained by continuous pumping of water through the chamber. This chamber design allows for sediment-to-water flux measurements under more natural conditions. The chamber design was tested in a contaminated Baltic Sea bay. Measured fluxes were 62–2300 ng m−2 d−1 for individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 5.5–150 ng m−2 d−1 for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These fluxes were 3–23 times (PAHs) and 12–74 times (PCBs) higher than fluxes measured with closed benthic chambers deployed in parallel at the same location. We hypothesize that the observed difference in HOC flux between the two chamber designs are partly an effect of bioturbation. This hypothesized effect of bioturbation was in accordance with literature data from experimental studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 231, p. 854-862
Keywords [en]
Flux, Sediment, Benthic chamber, Bioturbation, Bioirrigation
Keywords [sv]
Flöden, sediment, bottenkammare, bioturbation
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-148955DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.08.086ISI: 000414881000087OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-148955DiVA, id: diva2:1156700
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2012-1211Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Contaminated sediments: Methods to assess release and toxicity of organic chemical mixtures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contaminated sediments: Methods to assess release and toxicity of organic chemical mixtures
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Bottom sediments around the world store large amounts of legacy hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs), forming mixtures of unknown chemical composition. Primary emissions to the environment of many HOCs have been reduced as a consequence of regulation. However, HOCs may be released from the sediments to water and biota, and there is therefore a risk of negative effects on local ecosystems. The activity of benthic organisms can enhance the sediment-to-water flux of HOCs, a process called bioturbation. Few in situ assessments of the sediment-to-water flux are available in the scientific literature, and the effect of bioturbation on the sediment-to-water flux of HOCs has not been studied in the field. Thus, there is a need to improve in situ methods for direct determination of sediments as a source of HOCs to water, and thereby include the effect of bioturbation. In Paper I, a benthic flow-through chamber was developed for environmentally realistic in situ assessments of the sediment-to-water flux. In Paper II, the sediment-to-water flux of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was assessed using the flow-through chamber at four sites on the Swedish Baltic Sea coast. The sediments at all four sites acted as sources of PAHs to water. In the same study, potential effects of bioturbation, with an increase of the sediment-to-water flux by up to one order of magnitude, were observed at sites with bioturbating organisms. In the past, assessing the toxicity of HOCs has been challenging due to difficulties in maintaining stable exposure concentrations of the test chemical. In Paper III, a passive dosing method, where the test chemical partitions from a polymer (silicone) to the aquatic exposure medium, was developed and tested for chronic exposure. A stable exposure concentration could be maintained, and the chronic toxicity to the sediment-dwelling harpacticoid Nitocra spinipes of chronic exposure to triclosan was assessed in a 6-week population development test. In Paper IV, a passive sampling and dosing method was developed and used to assess the toxicity of an environmental chemical mixture of bioavailable sediment-associated HOCs transferred from a contaminated sediment to the laboratory-based bioassay. The passive sampling and dosing method can be used to assess the toxicity of environmental mixtures of chemicals at environmentally realistic concentrations to which ecosystems are constantly exposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2017. p. 183
Keywords
Sediment, Hydrophobic organic contaminants, Flux, Bioturbation, Passive sampling, Passive dosing, Mixture toxicity
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149084 (URN)978-91-7797-095-8 (ISBN)978-91-7797-096-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-01-12, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2012–1211
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-12-20 Created: 2017-11-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Mustajärvi, LukasEriksson-Wiklund, Ann-KristinUndeman, EmmaSobek, Anna
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