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Assessing the Risk of Contaminant Dispersion From Fibrous Sediments of Industrial Origin

Goransson, Gunnel and Apler, Anna and Dahlberg, Anna-Karin and Lofroth, Hjordis and Josefsson, Sarah and Wiberg, Karin and Frogner-Kockum, Paul and Nylander, Per and Hedfors, Jim and Snowball, Ian (2021). Assessing the Risk of Contaminant Dispersion From Fibrous Sediments of Industrial Origin. Frontiers in marine science. 8 , 729243
[Research article]

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Abstract

Unregulated discharges of wastewater from pulp and paper factories resulted in the formation of relatively thick organic (cellulose) rich sediments in shallow waters along the Swedish coast. These deposits are known as fiberbanks and are contaminated by persistent organic pollutants (POPs), metals and methylmercury, which can be dispersed by diffusion and advective processes coupled to propeller wash, high river discharges, strong wind waves and submarine landslides. Based on a case study of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), one group of prevalent POPs in the fiberbanks, we present a probabilistic approach to estimate the potential risk of dispersion of fiberbank contaminants. The approach allows for estimation of the dispersal pathways that dominates the risk within a given time and provides more insight about the significance of various dispersion processes. We show that it is highly likely that chemical diffusion and advection triggered by ship-induced resuspension will disperse PCBs (sum of seven congeners; sigma 7PCB) above a threshold level for environmental impact, while the likelihood of river and wind-wave generated resuspension dispersion pathways are lower (similar to 20%, respectively). We further show that there is approximately 5% likelihood that a submarine landslide will disperse sigma 7PCB above the threshold level. The study implies that the governing parameters for risk assessment specifically should include reliable data on contaminant concentration, water depth above the fiberbank, estimation of concerned fiberbank areas, time duration of erosive fluid flows and measured diffusion. The approach provides insight into the importance of various dispersion processes. We suggest that it can be applied to support risk assessment, especially when there are limited available data and/or knowledge about the system under study.

Authors/Creators:Goransson, Gunnel and Apler, Anna and Dahlberg, Anna-Karin and Lofroth, Hjordis and Josefsson, Sarah and Wiberg, Karin and Frogner-Kockum, Paul and Nylander, Per and Hedfors, Jim and Snowball, Ian
Title:Assessing the Risk of Contaminant Dispersion From Fibrous Sediments of Industrial Origin
Series Name/Journal:Frontiers in marine science
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:8
Article number:729243
Number of Pages:17
Publisher:FRONTIERS MEDIA SA
ISSN:2296-7745
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Keywords:contaminated sediments, extreme events, PCBs, risk assessment, submarine landslide
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113764
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113764
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/fmars.2021.729243
Web of Science (WoS)000698450000001
ID Code:25555
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Oct 2021 08:25
Metadata Last Modified:05 Oct 2021 08:31

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