The effect of depositional history on contaminated bed sediment stability
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Experiments were conducted in an annular flume using a commercially available kaolinite clay as well as contaminated bed sediment from Hamilton Harbour (Ontario) to assess their stability against erosion. Critical shear stress for erosion was measured under different conditions of bed formation (quiescently deposited beds and shear deposited beds) as well as with and without the presence of a biostabilized bed. Results suggest that a biostabilized bed and a bed formed under a flowing condition, similar to a river scenario, will be more resistant against erosion than will a non-biostabilized bed and a bed formed under quiescent conditions. Up to three cycles of erosion and flocculation/deposition were observed to occur within one experiment. These results suggest that the depositional history and biostabilization of river bed sediments need to be seriously considered within sediment and contaminant transport models if meaningful estimates of sediment and contaminant source, fate and effect are to be generated and used for the management of our aquatic ecosystems.
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