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  • Schwientek, M  (9)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 15 August 2014, Vol.490, pp.191-198
    Description: Transport of many pollutants in rivers is coupled to mobilization of suspended particles which typically occurs during floods. Since the amount of total suspended solids ( ) in rivers can be monitored by turbidity measurements this may be used as a proxy for the total concentration of particle associated pollutants such as PAHs, PCBs, etc. and several heavy metals. Online turbidity measurements (e.g. by optical backscattering sensors) would then also allow for an assessment of particle and pollutant flux dynamics if once calibrated against and total pollutant concentrations for a given catchment. In this study, distinct flood and thus turbidity events were sampled at high temporal resolution in three contrasting sub-catchments of the River Neckar in Southwest Germany (Ammer, Goldersbach, Steinlach) as well as in the River Neckar itself and investigated for the total amount of PAHs and in water; turbidity (NTU) and grain size distributions of suspended solids were determined as well. Laboratory experiments were performed with natural river bed sediments from different locations (Ammer) to investigate PAH concentrations, and turbidity during sedimentation of suspended particles under controlled conditions (yielding smaller and smaller suspended particles and with time). Laboratory and field results agreed very well and showed that turbidity and were linearly correlated over an extended turbidity range up to 2000 NTU for the field samples and up to 8000 NTU in lab experiments. This also holds for total PAH concentrations which can be reasonably well predicted based on turbidity measurements and vs. PAHs relationships — even for high turbidity values observed during flood events (〉 2000 NTU). Total PAH concentrations on suspended solids were independent of grain size of suspended particles. This implies that for the rivers investigated the sorption capacity of particles did not change significantly during the observed events.
    Keywords: Pollutant Fluxes in Rivers ; Turbidity ; Total Suspended Solids ; Particle Facilitated Transport ; Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 January 2016, Vol.540, pp.444-454
    Description: Increasing numbers of organic micropollutants are emitted into rivers via municipal wastewaters. Due to their persistence many pollutants pass wastewater treatment plants without substantial removal. Transport and fate of pollutants in receiving waters and export to downstream ecosystems is not well understood. In particular, a better knowledge of processes governing their environmental behavior is needed. Although a lot of data are available concerning the ubiquitous presence of micropollutants in rivers, accurate data on transport and removal rates are lacking. In this paper, a mass balance approach is presented, which is based on the Lagrangian sampling scheme, but extended to account for precise transport velocities and mixing along river stretches. The calculated mass balances allow accurate quantification of pollutants' reactivity along river segments. This is demonstrated for representative members of important groups of micropollutants, e.g. pharmaceuticals, musk fragrances, flame retardants, and pesticides. A model-aided analysis of the measured data series gives insight into the temporal dynamics of removal processes. The occurrence of different removal mechanisms such as photooxidation, microbial degradation, and volatilization is discussed. The results demonstrate, that removal processes are highly variable in time and space and this has to be considered for future studies. The high precision sampling scheme presented could be a powerful tool for quantifying removal processes under different boundary conditions and in river segments with contrasting properties.
    Keywords: Micropollutants ; River Segments ; Mass Balances ; Removal Processes ; Diurnal Patterns ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 December 2017, Vol.601-602, pp.636-645
    Description: The contamination of riverine sediments and suspended matter with hydrophobic pollutants is typically associated with urban land use. However, it is rarely related to the sediment supply of the watershed, because sediment yield data are often missing. We show for a suite of watersheds in two regions of Germany with contrasting land use and geology that the contamination of suspended particles with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) can be explained by the ratio of inhabitants residing within the watershed and the watershed's sediment yield. The modeling of sediment yields is based on the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE2015, Panagos et al., 2015) and the sediment delivery ratio (SDR). The applicability of this approach is demonstrated for watersheds ranging in size from 1.4 to 3000 km . The approach implies that the loading of particles with PAH can be assumed as time invariant. This is indicated by additional long-term measurements from sub-watersheds of the upper River Neckar basin, Germany. The parsimonious conceptual approach allows for reasonable predictions of the PAH loading of suspended sediments especially at larger scales. Our findings may easily be used to estimate the vulnerability of river systems to particle-associated urban pollutants with similar input pathways as the PAH or to indicate if contaminant point sources such as sites of legacy pollution exist in a river basin.
    Keywords: Sediment Quality ; Particle-Facilitated Pollutant Transport ; Pah ; Sediment Yield ; Urbanization ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Pollution, January 2013, Vol.172, pp.155-162
    Description: Water quality of rivers depends often on the degree of urbanization and the population density in the catchment. This study shows results of a monitoring campaign of total concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and suspended particles in water samples in adjacent catchments in Southern Germany with similar geology and climate but different degrees of urbanization. Defined linear relationships between total concentrations of PAHs in water and the amount of suspended solids were obtained indicating predominance of particle-facilitated transport. The slopes of these regressions correspond to the average contamination of suspended particles ( ) and thus comprise a very robust measure of sediment pollution in a river. For the first time, we can show that is distinct in the different catchments and correlates to the degree of urbanization represented by the number of inhabitants per total flux of suspended particles. ► PAHs in water samples show a linear correlation with the total suspended solids. ► PAHs on suspended solids correspond to mean concentrations in sediments sampled. ► Degree of urban pressure per particle flux drives PAH loads on suspended particles. ► Dilution of particle associated pollutants requires “clean background” particles. Particle-facilitated transport of PAHs was found to relate to urban population pressure relative to suspended particle loading in contrasting catchments.
    Keywords: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons ; Land Use ; Suspended Solids ; Water Quality ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0269-7491
    E-ISSN: 1873-6424
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2018, Vol.13(1), p.e0191314
    Description: Suspended particles in rivers can act as carriers of potentially bioavailable metal species and are thus an emerging area of interest in river system monitoring. The delineation of bulk metals concentrations in river water into dissolved and particulate components is also important for risk assessment. Linear relationships between bulk metal concentrations in water (CW,tot) and total suspended solids (TSS) in water can be used to easily evaluate dissolved (CW, intercept) and particle-bound metal fluxes (CSUS, slope) in streams (CW,tot = CW + CSUS TSS). In this study, we apply this principle to catchments in Iran (Haraz) and Germany (Ammer, Goldersbach, and Steinlach) that show differences in geology, geochemistry, land use and hydrological characteristics. For each catchment, particle-bound and dissolved concentrations for a suite of metals in water were calculated based on linear regressions of total suspended solids and total metal concentrations. Results were replicable across sampling campaigns in different years and seasons (between 2013 and 2016) and could be reproduced in a laboratory sedimentation experiment. CSUS values generally showed little variability in different catchments and agree well with soil background values for some metals (e.g. lead and nickel) while other metals (e.g. copper) indicate anthropogenic influences. CW was elevated in the Haraz (Iran) catchment, indicating higher bioavailability and potential human and ecological health concerns (where higher values of CSUS/CW are considered as a risk indicator).
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Earth Sciences, 2013, Vol.69(2), pp.373-380
    Description: Transport of hydrophobic organic pollutants in rivers is mainly coupled to transport of suspended particles. Turbidity measurements are often used to assess the amount of suspended solids in water. In this study, a monitoring campaign is presented where the total concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the amount of total suspended solids (TSS), and turbidity was measured in water samples from five neighboring catchments in southwest Germany. Linear correlations of turbidity and TSS were obtained which were in close agreement to the literature data. From linear regressions of turbidity versus total PAH concentrations in water, mean concentrations of PAH on suspended particles could be calculated and these varied by catchment. These values furthermore comprise a robust measure of the average sediment quality in a given catchment. Since in the catchments investigated in this study, PAH concentrations on suspended particles were stable over a large turbidity range (1–114 Nephelometric Turbidity Units), turbidity could be used as a proxy for total PAHs and likely other highly hydrophobic organic pollutants in river water if the associated correlations are established. Based on that, online monitoring of turbidity (e.g., by optical backscattering sensors) seems very promising to determine annual pollutant fluxes.
    Keywords: Turbidity ; Total suspended solids ; Hydrophobic pollutants ; Particle-facilitated transport ; Catchment hydrology
    ISSN: 1866-6280
    E-ISSN: 1866-6299
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Environmental science & technology, 15 January 2013, Vol.47(2), pp.701-9
    Description: As a proxy to trace the impact of anthropogenic activity, sedimentary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are compared between the early industrialized and newly industrialized countries of Germany and China, respectively. Surface sediment samples in the Ammer River of Germany and the Liangtan River of China were collected to compare concentration levels, distribution patterns, and diagnostic plots of sedimentary PAHs. Total concentrations of 16 PAHs in Ammer sediments were significantly higher by a factor of ~4.5 than those in Liangtan. This contrast agrees with an extensive literature survey of PAH levels found in Chinese versus European sediments. Distribution patterns of PAHs were similar across sites in the Ammer River, whereas they were highly varied in the Liangtan River. Pyrogenic sources dominated in both cases. Strong correlations of the sum of 16 PAHs and PAH groups with TOC contents in the Liangtan River may indicate coemission of PAHs and TOC. Poor correlations of PAHs with TOC in the Ammer River indicate that other factors exert stronger influences. Sedimentary PAHs in the Ammer River are primarily attributed to input of diffuse sources or legacy pollution, while sediments in the Liangtan River are probably affected by ongoing point source emissions. Providing further evidence of a more prolonged anthropogenic influence are the elevated black carbon fractions in sedimentary TOC in the Ammer compared to the Liangtan. This implies that the Liangtan River, like others in newly industrialized regions, still has a chance to avoid legacy pollution of sediment which is widespread in the Ammer River and other European waterways.
    Keywords: Geologic Sediments -- Analysis ; Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons -- Analysis ; Rivers -- Chemistry ; Water Pollutants, Chemical -- Analysis ; Water Pollution, Chemical -- Analysis
    ISSN: 0013936X
    E-ISSN: 1520-5851
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Earth Sciences, 2013, Vol.69(2), pp.317-333
    Description: Sustainable water quality management requires a profound understanding of water fluxes (precipitation, run-off, recharge, etc.) and solute turnover such as retention, reaction, transformation, etc. at the catchment or landscape scale. The Water and Earth System Science competence cluster (WESS, http://www.wess.info/ ) aims at a holistic analysis of the water cycle coupled to reactive solute transport, including soil–plant–atmosphere and groundwater–surface water interactions. To facilitate exploring the impact of land-use and climate changes on water cycling and water quality, special emphasis is placed on feedbacks between the atmosphere, the land surface, and the subsurface. A major challenge lies in bridging the scales in monitoring and modeling of surface/subsurface versus atmospheric processes. The field work follows the approach of contrasting catchments, i.e. neighboring watersheds with different land use or similar watersheds with different climate. This paper introduces the featured catchments and explains methodologies of WESS by selected examples.
    Keywords: Water and solute fluxes ; Water quality ; Catchments ; Land-surface atmosphere exchange ; Processes and feedbacks ; Modeling ; Monitoring
    ISSN: 1866-6280
    E-ISSN: 1866-6299
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 10 January 2019, Vol.647, pp.645-652
    Description: Transport of hydrophobic pollutants in rivers such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals is often facilitated by suspended sediment particles, which are typically mobilized during high discharge events. Suspended sediments thus represent a means of transport for particle related pollutants within river reaches and may represent a suitable proxy for average pollutant concentrations estimation in a river reach or catchment. In this study, multiple high discharge/turbidity events were sampled at high temporal resolution in the Globaqua River Basins Sava (Slovenia, Serbia), Adige (Italy), and Evrotas (Greece) and analysed for persistent organic pollutants such as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) or PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and heavy metals. For comparison, river bed sediment samples were analysed as well. Further, results are compared to previous studies in contrasting catchments in Germany, Iran, Spain, and beyond. Overall results show that loadings of suspended sediments with pollutants are catchment-specific and relatively stable over time at a given location. For PAHs, loadings on suspended particles mainly correlate to urban pressures (potentially diluted by sediment mass fluxes) in the rivers, whereas metal concentrations mainly display a geogenic origin. By cross-comparison with known urban pressure/sediment yield relationships (e.g. for PAHs) or soil background values (for metals) anthropogenic impact – e.g. caused by industrial activities – may be identified. Sampling of suspended sediments gives much more reliable results compared to sediment grab samples which typically show a more heterogeneous contaminant distribution. Based on mean annual suspended sediment concentrations and distribution coefficients of pollutants the fraction of particle facilitated transport versus dissolved fluxes can be calculated.
    Keywords: Particle Associated Pollutants ; Suspended Sediments ; Persistent Organic Pollutants ; Heavy Metals ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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