Contaminant release from sediments: a mass flux approach

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


With the predicted climate change it is expected that the chances of flooding increase. During flood events sediments will suspend and if sediments are polluted, contaminants can be released to water. Also under gentle flow regimes, when sediments are settled and form a sediment bed, transfer of contaminants to water is possible. The release of contaminants from the sediment –particles and bed– to the aqueous phase is the first step in a sequence of processes. When this step is the rate limiting process we speak of mass transfer limitation. In this thesis the release of (mainly) dieldrin from field aged sediment was studied using the SPEED reactor we developed for this purpose. In this reactor parameters like mixing intensity and water flow –or dilution– rate can be controlled and low aqueous concentrations of contaminants can be quantified. Dieldrin release from the sediments was assessed for different situations: simulating a flood event and simulating more gentle flow conditions. In line with the variable discharge rates in rivers, we performed experiments with different flow rates and assessed the release of dieldrin in time.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Rulkens, Wim, Promotor
  • Grotenhuis, Tim, Promotor
Award date5 Oct 2009
Place of Publication[S.l.
Print ISBNs9789085854586
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • sediment
  • floods
  • dieldrin
  • pollutants
  • flow
  • water flow
  • particles
  • dilution
  • water pollution
  • organic pollutants
  • contaminated sediments


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