Publication Detail

Deposition of Contaminated Sediments in Boston Harbor Studied Using Fluorescent Dye and Particle Tracers

Eric Adams, Keith Stolzenbach, Jeng-Jong Lee
31 pp.
MITSG 97-17
$6.00 DOM

The residence time of water and suspended particles in Fort Point Channel, a sub-region of Boston Harbor containing a major combined sewer overflow and highly contaminated sediment, was determined during three field surveys by measuring the disappearance of fluorescent tracers from the water column. Dye measurements indicate that channel water is replaced on a scale of 1 to 2.7 days, depending on tidal amplitude and phase during tracer release and the magnitude of freshwater inflow. Ratios of normalized particle concentration to dye concentration effective deposition velocities of 1.5 to 3.3 m/d; this is an order of magnitude faster than observed in laboratory settling columns suggesting that removal of suspended tracer particles from Fort Point Channel during these surveys may have been the result of scavenging by a bottom "fluff" layer. This finding is consistent with the authors previous observation of particle deposition in Salem Sound, Massachusetts, and in controlled laboratory studies of particle aggregation at the sediment-water interface.

type: Technical reports

Parent Project

Project No.: 1996-A-5
Title: Faculty/Student Marine Advisory Service