Laboratory simulation of diffusion in contaminated marine sediments

Julie A. Baron, Louis J. Thibodeaux, Danny D. Reible, Paul H. Templet, Charles B. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Wastes from offshore oil drilling activities are often discharged to the marine environment. Solid wastes that settle onto the bottom sediment may pose a health threat to marine organisms and eventually to man through the food chain. We need to understand their fate in order to predict the chemical concentration levels and life-times in the sediment and adjoining aquatic boundary layer. A laboratory simulation of selected in-bed processes that addresses contaminant leaching from the sediment is proposed. The process chosen for simulation in this study is the coupled desorption-diffusion of contaminants from the bed to the water column. A simple mathematical model of the process is also proposed. Preliminary results using organic chemicals for both the simulation and the model are presented. The results suggest that the experimental procedure represents a good way of estimating the diffusive leaching rates of hydrophobic compounds from contaminated sediments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1990


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