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ATOIS TECHNICAL SUMMARY

Sediment


Introduction

The information in this text is a technical summary of the work undertaken in the EU FP6 project AquaTerra (Project 
number GOCE505428), which ran from April 2005 until March 2009. The aim of this technical summary is to provide a
concise account of the range and nature of the work undertaken in the project relating to the subject of SEDIMENT,
in particular contaminated sediments, diffuse pollution and hydrology. The intention is to make the work of AquaTerra
more accessible to stakeholders for whom the information could be of value. This document should be read with a view
to following up the work it describes in more detail through the specific project deliverables, which if publically
available can be downloaded from the main project website:
http://www.eu-aquaterra.de. Alternatively, a catalogue
of relevant scientific publications related to this subject can be viewed at
http://www.aquatera.eugris.info.

Click here to download a pdf file of the full technical summary

Background

Sediment is a crucial component of the river basin system. Large volumes of contaminants are transported, stored 
and released from sediments during course of its transport from field to delta and beyond. These processes occur
while the sediment is entrained in river flow, while sediment is part of the river bed and when sediments have been
deposited beyond the river in floodplain soils. Sediment also plays an important role in the interaction between
surface and groundwater when it forms part of the stream bed, as it is effectively the transboundary zone between
the two.
As well as being a sorption-desorption platform for contaminants, sediment itself is an important geomorphological
component of the river basin system, forming a link between erosion and deposition processes across the catchment.
Sediment transport is affected by general flow, flood events and changes in the hydromorphology of the river, largely
as a result of the need to alter rivers for navigation by dam construction and channelization; dredging is another
significant artificial influence on sediment transport and deposition processes. Transport and geochemical
processes related to sediment, like many other aspects of the river basin system, will be affected by climatic changes.
The work of AquaTerra in relation to sediment has largely been in relation to pollutant quantification and behaviour;
work has been undertaken within the MEUSE, ELBE and DANUBE basins as part of a range of work packages, including TREND,
FLUX and BIOGEOCHEM. This work has been undertaken at a range of scales, from laboratory experiments to large scale
surveys. This Technical Summary has been divided into four sections; a brief background on the general sediment
quality in the relevant AquaTerra study basins is followed by a description of the specific experimental work undertaken
in the project, divided into sections on sediment quality, sediment characterisation and sediment behaviour
in the environment.

Click here to download a pdf file of the full technical summary

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