Persistent Reductions in the Bioavailability of PCBs at a Tidally Inundated Phragmites australis Marsh Amended with Activated Carbon
MetadataShow full item record
DateJune 5, 20
Type of Work33 pages
journal articles postprints
Citation of Original PublicationSanders, J. P., Andrade, N. A., Menzie, C. A., Amos, C. B., Gilmour, C. C., Henry, E. A., Brown, S. S. and Ghosh, U. (2018), Persistent Reductions in the Bioavailability of PCBs at a Tidally Inundated Phragmites australis Marsh Amended with Activated Carbon. Environ Toxicol Chem. Accepted Author Manuscript. . doi:10.1002/etc.4186
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Subjectspolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
amendment of sediments with activated carbon (AC)
pilot‐scale field investigation
reducing porewater PCB concentrations
intertidal Phragmites marshes
In situ amendment of sediments with highly sorbent materials like activated carbon (AC) is an increasingly viable strategy to reduce the bioavailability of persistent, sediment‐associated contaminants to benthic communities. Because in situ sediment remediation is an emerging strategy, much remains to be learned about the field conditions under which amendments can be effective, the resilience of amendment materials toward extreme weather conditions, and the optimal design of engineered applications. Here we report the results of a multi‐year, pilot‐scale field investigation designed to measure the persistence and efficacy of AC amendments to reduce the bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an intertidal Phragmites marsh. The amendments tested were granular AC (GAC), GAC with a layer of sand, and a pelletized fine AC. Key metrics presented include vertically‐resolved black carbon concentrations in sediment and PCB concentrations in sediment, porewater, and several invertebrate species. The results demonstrate that all three amendments withstood Hurricane Sandy and remained in place for the duration of the study, successfully reducing porewater PCB concentrations by 34–97%. Reductions in invertebrate bioaccumulation were observed in all amendment scenarios, with pelletized fine AC producing the most pronounced effect. Our findings support the use of engineered AC amendments in intertidal marshes, and can be used to inform amendment design, delivery, and monitoring at other contaminated sediment sites.