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Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences Graduate Weekly Seminar - Jessica Thomas

When: Wednesday, February 8, 2023
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Where: > See description for location
Description: The School for Marine Science and Technology
Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences
Graduate Weekly Seminar

“Micro-siting and Nitrogen Removal Efficiency of a Liquid Injection
Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB)”

Jessica Thomas
PhD Candidate

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
SMAST East, Rooms 101/102
And via Zoom

As development of coastal areas increase, nutrient loads to groundwater and particularly nitrogen (NO3-, NO2-, and NH4) have also increased significantly. In addition to the known health impacts that nitrogen (as nitrate) can have on people through drinking water, nitrogen enrichment of coastal waters results in system-wide decline in water and habitat quality. At present, the estuaries of S.E. Massachusetts are experiencing negative impacts from watershed nitrogen inputs resulting in eutrophication and declines in aquatic resources. As a result of wide-spread estuarine nitrogen enrichment, a variety of techniques are being explored by towns throughout S.E. Massachusetts to mitigate watershed nitrogen inputs to their estuaries. One of the technologies seeing increasing interest due to its moderate cost, ease of installation, and low impact to the environment is N removal by liquid injection PRBs. The present research investigates the utility of using liquid injection PRBs for restoration of nitrogen impaired estuarine water quality.
Our results show that for PRB technology to be effective it must be specifically installed to meet local site conditions. In conjunction with Adam Turner (Martha’s Vineyard Commission), micro-siting techniques were implemented in the installation and design of a pilot PRB adjacent to nitrogen impaired Lagoon Pond on Martha’s Vineyard to maximize reduction of nitrogen per unit cost. After PRB installation the amount of nitrogen reduction achieved in groundwater from residential areas was quantified. To better understand the biogeochemistry associated with PRBs and to optimize future installations, we also measure the extent to which the liquid injectate forming the PRB (emulsified vegetable oil or EVO), travels with groundwater and spreads from point of injection. Additionally, secondary reactions that occur under reducing conditions created by the PRB were monitored to evaluate their impact to groundwater and receiving water bodies. These correlative processes will inform future PRB siting near aquatic systems.
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Meeting ID: 974 4006 9270
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Contact: > See Description for contact information
Topical Areas: School for Marine Sciences and Technology, SMAST Seminar Series