Field sampling completed for study probing origins of sediment contaminants that bioaccumulate in fish

Posted November 2, 2018

SCCWRP and its partners in October completed the second and final round of field sampling for a study investigating whether legacy contaminants found in the tissue of San Diego Bay fish are coming from contaminated bay sediment or from somewhere else.

The two-year study will revisit a common assumption in sediment management – that all legacy chemical contaminants that have bioaccumulated in fish tissue collected at a given site originated with contaminated sediment at the site.

Although now-banned chemical contaminants like PCBs and DDTs – which have sorbed to sediment particles on the seafloor – are known to gradually dissolve back into the water column, it is unclear if these contaminants also are spreading extended distances through the water column.

During two rounds of field sampling, researchers used passive sampling devices to measure the dissolved concentration of sediment-associated contaminants in three locations – just beneath the surface sediment layer, just above the surface sediment layer, and in the water column. Sampling of sediment, fish and zooplankton also was conducted.

More news related to: Sediment Quality