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Zirconium deficit as a tracer of urban sediment accumulation in Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems – Application to the calibration of a filtration model

Abstract : Among the processes governing contaminant retention in soil-based Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), quantifying the relative contribution of particle settling and filtration requires a tracer of runoff-generated solids. Since zirconium (Zr) is a widely used geochemical invariant in pedological approaches, with few anthropogenic sources, the present investigation aims to assess whether its use may be extended to sediment identification in SUDS. High-resolution horizontal and vertical soil sampling was carried out in 11 infiltration systems, as well as in road-deposited sediment. Following elemental analysis via X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, the spatial distribution of both Zr and urban-derived metals could be determined. Zr content in sediment was found to be fairly stable and significantly lower than in soil. In most devices, Zr and metals exhibited "mirror" trends, both horizontally and vertically, i.e. a deficit of Zr could be observed in the most contaminated area. This indicated a "dilution-like" mixture of soil and sediment, the fraction of which could be calculated and appraised spatially. The vertical profiles proved the occurrence of bed filtration over 5 to 15 cm, and enabled the calibration of a simple filtration model. The uncertainties associated with the determined filter coefficient were found to be comparable to the other experimental methods – with the additional improvement that the present approach does not require water sampling.
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Dernière modification le : mardi 11 février 2020 - 12:06:13
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Damien Tedoldi, Kelsey Flanagan, Ghassan Chebbo, Philippe Branchu, Daniel Pierlot, et al.. Zirconium deficit as a tracer of urban sediment accumulation in Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems – Application to the calibration of a filtration model. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2018, 644, pp.941-953. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.384⟩. ⟨hal-01828498⟩

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