Gschwend Lab

Research

Combining Mass Balance Modeling with Polyethylene Passive Sampling at Contaminated Sediment Sites

Despite efforts to clean up sediments contaminated with toxic compounds like PCBs, project managers often remain uncertain about the value of their remedial options and the likelihood of long term success of the efforts. 

We are working to develop chemical mass balance models suited to quantifying contaminant exposures if certain chemical sources are removed, while others are left untouched. And we are pursuing this integrative modeling effort in conjunction with using polyethylene passive samplers to make measures of contaminant concentration gradients between sediment porewater, the water column, and overlying air and then checking the accuracies the integrative models using independent passive sampling data.