Toronto Metropolitan University
527-1430-1-PB.pdf (2.26 MB)

Assessing Lead Contamination in Buffalo River Sediments

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-28, 21:24 authored by K. Wayne ForsytheK. Wayne Forsythe, Kim N. Irvine, David M. Atkinson, Mary Perrelli, Joseph AversaJoseph Aversa, Stephen J. Swales, Adrian Gawedski, Daniel JakubekDaniel Jakubek

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States has identified the Buffalo River as an Area of Concern. The watershed has a long history of heavy industrial activity that contributed to its overall pollution. Sediment core data collected by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2005 were used to determine lead sediment conta- mination in a section of the Buffalo River. The ordinary kriging spatial interpolation technique was used to generate surface and sub- surface sediment contamination estimates. Due to the meandering nature of the river, two kriging models were used to analyze surface contamination: a global kriging model and a regional kriging model, consisting of three separate sections. The results show that both the global and regional kriging models display similar interpolated surfaces and do not vary significantly. Within the sediment, lead contamination in the surface layer is lower than at the various subsurface depths. In 2011, habitat restoration efforts commenced to re- mediate environmental damage due to years of pollution inputs from various sources. Sediment dredging operations were initiated that are expected to be completed in 2015. The goal of these operations is to remove heavily contaminated sediments and rehabilitate the Buffalo River. The kriging results provide area-wide estimates of contamination. When compared to the dredging plan, the results indicate that additional removal of contaminated sediments may need to be considered where no dredging has occurred or is not cu- rrently planned. 




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