Beneficial Reuse of Dredged Materials in Upland Environments
Haus, Nicholas Wes
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Sediments excavated from dredging operations are known as dredged materials. Beneficial reuse of dredged materials in confined utilization facilities (CUFs) is a new approach that has the potential to productively utilize large quantities of dredged materials. However, several factors can inhibit the use of dredged materials in CUFs. In this study, high levels of salts and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated. In the first part of this study, 176,000 m3 of saline dredged materials was placed into a CUF. In less than 4 years, most of the dredged materials had developed horizonation and converted to Inceptisols. The formation of pedogenic Bg horizons in these soils occurred after a polygonal prism network had developed which partially disintegrated into a blocky structured, oxidized horizon with an abundance of redoximorphic features. During the study period, the soil chemistry of the weathering dredged materials shifted from Na-dominated to Ca and Mg-dominated system, allowing plant invasion. In the second part of the study, a bench-scale greenhouse bioremediation experiment was conducted to test the effectiveness of biosolids, compost, and straw at enhancing PAH degradation. Initial concentrations of PAHs decreased significantly after 150 days using standard methods of extraction. However, at 327 days the concentrations of many PAHs, especially those with higher molecular weights, had rebounded close to initial levels. This indicates that PAH bioremediation studies using organic matter additions and conducted using standard methods of extraction need to be carried out longer periods of time or that extraction methods need to be improved.
- Masters Theses