Microanalysis of NY/NJ Harbor Sediments using Synchrotron X-Ray Beams

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Conference Proceeding

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Sediments found in the New York/New Jersey Harbor are widely contaminated with organic and inorganic compounds of anthropogenic origin. As a result, the environmental health of the Harbor has deteriorated and the efficient operation of the Port compromised by difficulties in disposing of sediments resulting from maintenance and improvements of navigational channels. Knowledge of the properties of the sediments on a micro-scale is useful in understanding the transport of contaminants through the environment, for developing effective methods for sediment decontamination, and for subsequent beneficial use of the cleaned sediments. We have investigated several properties of these sediments using synchrotron radiation techniques. These include computed microtomography using absorption and fluorescence contrast mechanisms, x-ray microscopy, microbeam x-ray fluorescence, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) for measurements of microstructure, distribution of metals on individual sediment particles, and chemical forms of the contaminants on a micrometer scale. Typical results obtained with these techniques are presented.

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