Accession Number : ADA335436

Title :   Dredged Material Isolation on the Abyssal Seafloor: A Feasibility Study

Descriptive Note : Final rept.

Corporate Author : NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS MARINE GEOSCIENCES DIV

Personal Author(s) : Valent, Philip J. ; Young, David K.

PDF Url : ADA335436

Report Date : 01 DEC 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 122

Abstract : This report is the result of an examination of the feasibility of isolating contaminated dredged material on the abyssal seafloor. The focus is on the technical and environmental factors that constrain the considerations of feasibility. The sources of the materials are assumed to be in U.S. coastal waters. A thorough conceptual design of a dredging to abyssal deposition system is analyzed with regard to each subsystem and to the entire operational concept. These subsystems include: (1) a low leakage dredge, (2) equipment for material handling and loading into geosynthetic fabric containers (GFCs), (3) the barge for transport and navigation, and (4) the subsystem for releasing the GFCs to sink to the abyssal seafloor isolation site. Particular consideration is given to the exclusion of dredged material from the ocean's productive zone in the upper 1000 m; this exclusion requires highly stable, reliable navigation and seakeeping by the barge transporter and control of the configuration of GFCs within it. New theoretical models and previous empirical results are used to predict GFC motion through the water column and response to impact on the abyssal seafloor, including the case of potential release of contaminated, turbid water at impact. A geochemical model of the temporal and spatial evolution of the post-deposition geochemistry of the water column, the GFC contents and the sediments below is developed and analyzed; the results show that release of metals into the ocean waters would be insignificant. A model of the biological impacts of the introduction of dredged material in the abyssal environment is used to infer that: (1) biological diversity in the vicinity of the deposition site will be diminished, (2) biomass will be increased by dominance of a few fast growing, opportunistic benthic species, and (3) concentrations of trace elements and organic contaminant

Descriptors :   *WASTE MANAGEMENT, *ABYSSAL ZONES, *DREDGED MATERIALS, WATER POLLUTION, FEASIBILITY STUDIES, CONCENTRATION(COMPOSITION), CONTAMINANTS, POLLUTANTS, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, DREDGING, SEDIMENTS, GEOCHEMISTRY, OCEAN BOTTOM, DEEP OCEANS, TRACE ELEMENTS.

Subject Categories : Solid Wastes Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE