Concern over the chemical and ecological status of water bodies has led to a higher demand for performing extensive water quality assessments. Until recently, the focus has mostly been on the water column itself but as it becomes clear that accumulated contaminants in sediments can leach into the water, some attention is now turning to the assessment of contaminants in sediments and the associated ecological risk.
The diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique has shown great potential for applications in sediment quality assessment. The newly published guidelines in ICES TIMES No. 62 are intended to assist with the preparation and handling of DGT devices, sample analysis, and data interpretation.
DGT measurements allow the assessment of metal fluxes in sediments, which are useful for evaluating metal contamination, and predicting the risk posed by metal contaminants to benthic organisms.
The guidelines have been produced by Elvio D. Amato (University of Antwerp), Thi Bolam (Cefas) , and Maria Jesus Belzunce-Segarra (AZTI), all members of the Working Group on Marine Sediments in Relation to Pollution (WGMS). The group plays a key role in the advancement of sediment related science.
The authors expect that this publication will benefit experienced users operating in the field of environmental monitoring and risk assessment for aquatic ecosystems, including research institutions, environmental protection agencies, and consulting firms.