Sea-level-rise-induced flooding drives arsenic release from coastal sediments

Fatemeh Izaditame, Matthew Siebecker, Donald L. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sea-level rise (SLR) has a vital influence on coastal hydrogeological systems, biogeochemical processes, and the fate of coastal contaminants. However, the effects of SLR-induced perturbations on the mobilization of coastal pollutants are not fully understood. In this study, the impact of SLR-induced flooding on the concentration and speciation of arsenic and selected hazardous chemicals is investigated using exceedingly contaminated sediments (5–6% As) collected from an urban coastal site in Wilmington, DE, USA. The release of contaminants from sediments was monitored before, during, and after flooding with different intensities (bottom shear stresses) through laboratory-based erosion chamber experiments. Significantly increased release of As (up to 150%) and NO3 (up to 50%) from sediments at shear stress levels typically measured in estuaries were found. The release of toxic chemicals from contaminated coastal sediments is thus not restricted to extreme flooding events but can occur
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127161
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - 2022


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