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Environmental Engineering Research 2001;6(3): 155-165.
A MATHEMATICAL MODEL OF PCBs FOR ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENT
Byung-Gi Hwang1, Eung-Bai Shin2, and Kyul-Ho Kwak3
1Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sangmyung University, Chungchongnam-Do 330-720, Korea
2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hanyang University, Kyunggi-do 425-788, Korea
3Deputy Minister for Planning and Management, Ministry of Environment of Korea, Kyuggi-do 427-72, Korea
Corresponding Author: Byung-Gi Hwang ,Tel: +82-41-562-7260, Fax: +82-41-550-5012, Email: bh4a@smuc.ac.kr
Received: March 18, 2001;  Accepted: July 18, 2001.
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ABSTRACT
There has been concern over the contamination of New Bedford harbor which is underlain by sediments containing elevated levels of PCBs and heavy metals including copper, chromium, zinc, and lead. PCB concentrations ranged from a few parts per million (ppm) to over 100,000 ppm and concentrations in biota exceeded the limit suggested by FDA, and resulted in stopping fisheries in the harbor and in bordering areas of Buzzards Bay. Despite that PCB-producing manufacturers have ceased discharge in 1979, contaminated bottom sediments, which have accumulated din ing the period of discharge, release the organic chemical to water column by resuspension, turbation or vertical diffusion. In this study, we identified a transport mechanism to understand the interaction between the water column and the sediment. We developed a mathematical model incorporating three-phase equilibrium sorption mechanism to quantify partitioning between sediment particles and pore water and to characterize contaminant remobilization to overlying waters. The model has been successfully calibrated to data collected in three surveys of 1986 and verified with data obtained from the investigations of 1989 and 1991. Thus the model predicts the amount of a chemical that can be sorbed to the suspend solids and exist in the dissolved form, and addresses the long-term behavior of chemicals of concern. Despite the limited data available, the model predicted that the chemical concentration in water would be high without corrective action. Several remediation scenarios have been performed with this model.
Keywords: contaminated sediments | sorption mechanism | PCBs
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