Resuspension of mercury-contaminated sediments from an in-lake industrial waste deposit

Emmet M. Owens, Revital Bookman, Steven W. Effler, Charles T. Driscoll, David A. Matthews, Adam J.P. Effler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The resuspension and transport of particulate mercury (HgP) from a nearshore industrial waste deposit to the pelagic zone of Onondaga Lake, N.Y., was investigated using an array of sediment traps radiating from the deposit, and quantified through application of a steady-state mass balance model. Time-averaged downward fluxes of suspended solids and HgP decreased in the offshore direction, indicating a nearshore source. Strong temporal variations in resuspension were documented and were linked to the dynamics of wind-driven wave action, as quantified by a validated surface wave model. A simple steady-state model of offshore transport from the resuspension zone, which assumes a balance between offshore transport and settling, was used to analyze sediment trap data. The resulting larger, and likely more accurate, estimate of HgP resuspension (∼60 g day-1) represents the dominant contemporary source to the water column. This result supports the planned remediation of this source as a part of a Superfund cleanup project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-534
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 27 2009


  • Industrial wastes
  • Lakes
  • Mass transport
  • Mercury
  • Sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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