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Abstract

In the marine environment many contaminants, natural or non, associated with inorganic and organic particulates will finally become incorporated in the sediments which might be the ultimate pollutant reservoir. Besides physical processes there is evidence of biological activities or the process of bioturbation that remobilize, transfer and recycle sediment associated pollutants through benthic ecosystems. Deposit and detritus feeders are the most important and abundant groups of the sediment in the fauna of the sediment surface layers in redistributing contaminants and radionuclides from sediment to the overlying water. High population densities and turnover rates of benthic organisms may enhance considerably vertical diffusion and transport of compounds absorbed on sediment particles. Changes in the biogeochemical regime, induced by bioturbation, may accelerate the remobilization of radionuclides from deeper sediment strata. Finally, the effect of bioturbation on the stability and composition of marine sediments influences their role as sinks, possible burial sites, and/or sources of radionuclides and may have important implications with respect to the global cycling of radionuclides.

Additional information

Authors: SCHULTE E H CEC BRUXELLES (BELGIUM), CEC BRUXELLES (BELGIUM)
Bibliographic Reference: USA-ITALY WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMENTAL INORGANIC CHEMISTRY, S. MINIATO, PISA (ITALY), JUNE 5-10, 1983. WRITE TO CEC LUXEMBOURG, DG XIII/A2, POB 1907 MENTIONING PAPER E 31125 ORA
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