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COI Funded Project: Investigating the Effect of Sediment Resuspension on Anthropogenic Metal Transport in Massachusetts Bay

Project Funded: 2001

Proposed Research

A number of potentially toxic heavy metals are associated with sewage effluent. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the short- and long-term fates of metals introduced into the coastal environment with treated sewage. We have been examining metal cycling at two sites in Massachusetts Bay, in conjunction with scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Data from USGS suggests that the resuspension of surface sediments is an observable process, perhaps due to storm events and normal wave action. The goal of this proposal is to determine the affect of sediment resuspension on the accumulation of metals in a coastal system and specifically, the importance to metal inventories in Massachusetts Bay. We intend to construct a sediment resuspension device that can fit onto a recovered core and can resuspend sediments under controlled conditions. We can then sample the easily resuspended material for heavy metals.

Originally published: January 25, 2001