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PT15 Contaminated Harbour and River Sediment
(PT239) Accumulation of PCBs in sediments of the Delaware River Estuary.
Rowe, A1, Totten, L1, Offenberg, J1, Sommerfield, C2, Du, S1, Reinfelder, J1, Eisenreich, S1, 3, 1 Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA2 University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA3 Joint Research Centre, Insititute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra, VA, Italy
ABSTRACT- Sedimentation is an important removal process of hydrophobic compounds from quiescent bodies of water. River sediments are significant environmental sinks and sediment cores can be used to give a usage history of pollutants over time. In this study, four sediment cores were taken from the Delaware River Estuary and analyzed for a suite of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in order to quantify the accumulation of these organic compounds and to compile a history of loadings of PCBs to the estuary for use in a fate and transport model which will be used to determine a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for PCBs in the Delaware. The samples were taken from marshy tributaries along the river and their sedimentation rates had been previously assessed via their Cs 137 and Pb 210 profiles. Three of the four sampling locations were downstream from the cities of Philadelphia and Camden, while one sampling site was north of this impacted urban area. In the core closest to those cities, PCBs ranged from 330 ng/g (dry weight) to 2700 ng/g (dry weight). The concentrations generally increased as depth from the surface increased, up to a maximum PCB concentration at a depth corresponding to about 1965-1970, consistent with sediment cores from many other locations. The concentrations from this sediment study will be compared with those found in the suspended particulate matter in the Delaware River. Organochlorine pesticide (OCP) concentrations in the cores will also be reported.
Key words: polychlorinated biphenyls, sediment, Delware River, accumulation
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