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Changes in mobility of trace metals at the sediment-water-biota interfaces following laboratory drying and reimmersion of a lacustrine sediment
- Lécrivain, Nathalie, Frossard, Victor, Clément, Bernard
- Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.14 pp. 14050-14058
- bioaccumulation, bioavailability, cadmium, chromium, copper, drying, lakes, leaching, lead, nickel, sediment contamination, sediments, shorelines, zinc
- Alterations in the timing, frequency, and magnitude of water level fluctuations (WLF) in lakes may result in important changes in abiotic parameters that can affect sediment-borne contaminant mobility at the sediment-water-biota interfaces in littoral zones. This study aims to assess the mobility of trace metals (TMs)—Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn—under laboratory-simulated WLF (i.e., drying and reimmersion of sediments) through a three-pronged approach. One surficial sediment was sampled from the shoreline of a large French lake exhibiting an artificially limited WLF. A sample was enriched with a solution of TMs to ensure significant measurements of mobility. The spiked and naturally contaminated sediments were dried and reimmersed. The first approach consisted in measuring the mobility of TMs from the sediment to the water column under resuspensions of particles through leaching tests. The second approach assessed the partitioning of TMs between the different binding forms within the sediments through sequential extraction tests. The last approach tested the changes in TM bioconcentration in organisms exposed to sediment through microcosm assays. The hypothesis was that WLF may increase mobility from the sediment to the water column relative to mobility from the residual to easily mobilizable fractions within the sediments and consequently increase the bioconcentration of less inert trace metals, mostly Cd and Zn. This hypothesis was partly rejected as TM binding forms mainly increased toward the residual fractions within the sediment, especially for Cd and Zn, and bioconcentration mainly decreased following WLF. However, TM concentration increased in the water column when WLF included great resuspension of particles. The study also provides insights into the complex relationships among contaminant mobility to the water column, bioavailability, and bioconcentration, especially in the context of large abiotic disturbances such as WLF. These findings may be useful for further management strategies for WLF-regulated lakes and reservoirs.