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Open AccessArticle

Migration and Diffusion of Heavy Metal Cu from the Interior of Sediment during Wave-Induced Sediment Liquefaction Process

by Fang Lu 1,2,3, Haoqing Zhang 1,3, Yonggang Jia 1,2,3,*, Wenquan Liu 2,4,* and Hui Wang 1,3
1
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Geological Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
2
Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266000, China
3
Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology, Ministry of Education, Qingdao 266100, China
4
Key Laboratory of Marine Sedimentology and Environmental Geology, First Institute of Oceanography, MNR, Qingdao 266061, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(12), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7120449
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 8 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Marine Engineering Geology)
Sediments are an important sink for heavy metal pollutants on account of their strong adsorption capacity. Elevated content of Cu was observed in the Chengdao area of the Yellow River Delta, where the surface sediment is mainly silt and is prone to be liquefied under hydrodynamic forces. The vertical transport of fine particles, along with pore water seepage, during the liquefaction process could promote the migration and diffusion of Cu from the interior of sediment. The present study involved a series of wave flume experiments to simulate the migration and diffusion of Cu from the interior of sediment in the subaqueous Yellow River Delta area under wave actions. The results indicated that sediment liquefaction significantly promoted the release of Cu from internal sediment to overlying water. The variations of Cu concentrations in the overlying water were opposite to the suspended sediment concentrations (SSCs). The sediment liquefaction caused high initial rises of SSCs, but led to a rapid decline of dissolved Cu concentration at the initial period of sediment liquefaction due to the adsorption by fine particles. Afterwards, the SSCs slightly increased and then gradually decreased. Meanwhile, the dissolved Cu concentration generally kept increasing under combined effects of intensively mix of sediment and overlying water, pore water seepage, and desorption. The dissolved Cu concentration in the overlying water during sediment liquefaction phase was 1.5–2.2 times that during the consolidation phase. Sediment liquefaction also caused vertical diffusion of Cu in sediment and the diffusion depth was in accordance with the liquefaction depth. The results of the present study may provide reference for the environmental management in the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: sediment liquefaction; heavy metal; migration; interior of sediment; the subaqueous Yellow River Delta sediment liquefaction; heavy metal; migration; interior of sediment; the subaqueous Yellow River Delta
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Lu, F.; Zhang, H.; Jia, Y.; Liu, W.; Wang, H. Migration and Diffusion of Heavy Metal Cu from the Interior of Sediment during Wave-Induced Sediment Liquefaction Process. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 449.

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