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Resuspension and clearing of dredge spoils after dredging, Cleveland Bay, Australia

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During dredging operation, fine sediment is released in the navigation channel of the Port of Townsville, Australia, as a result of mechanical disturbance of the bed and of the overflow from the storage tanks of the dredger. Some of this sediment is advected away from the dredging site toward the beach and reef areas and could result in environmental damage if not managed properly. Field monitoring was conducted for salinity, temperature, suspended sediment, and acoustic profiles at several sites before and after dredging. Laboratory investigations on the effect of sediment concentration, turbulence, and floe size on the clearing of a suspension column were also undertaken. Results of both field and laboratory investigations show faster clearing in quiescent conditions than in turbulent conditions. Turbulence at low levels disturbs the dewatering microchannels of the fluid mud layer. As turbulence increases the effect of floe breakage and settling retardation also become important.

Keywords: advection; dredging; spoil; suction dredger; suspended solids; toxic metals; turbulence

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1992-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research� (WER�) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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