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Distribution of arsenic and copper in sediment pore water: an ecological risk assessment case study for offshore drilling waste discharges

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 19:57 authored by Sadiq, R, Husain, T, Veitch, B, Neil Bose
Due to the hydrophobic nature of synthetic based fluids (SBFs), drilling cuttings are not very dispersive in the water column and settle down close to the disposal site. Arsenic and copper are two important toxic heavy metals, among others, found in the drilling waste. In this article, the concentrations of heavy metals are determined using a steady state " aquivalence-based" fate model in a probabilistic mode. Monte Carlo simulations are employed to determine pore water concentrations. A hypothetical case study is used to determine the water quality impacts for two discharge options: 4% and 10% attached SBFs, which correspond to the best available technology option and the current discharge practice in the U.S. offshore. The exposure concentration (CE) is a predicted environmental concentration, which is adjusted for exposure probability and bioavailable fraction of heavy metals. The response of the ecosystem (RE) is defined by developing an empirical distribution function of predicted no-effect concentration. The pollutants' pore water concentrations within the radius of 750 m are estimated and cumulative distributions of risk quotient (RQ = C E/RE) are developed to determine the probability of RQ greater than 1.


Publication title

Risk Analysis










Australian Maritime College


Blackwell Publishing Inc

Place of publication

United States

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)

Usage metrics

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