Benthic oxygen demands of Houston Ship Channel sediments.




Reynolds, T.D.
Hann, R.W., Jr.
Priebe, W.F.

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Texas A&M University


Benthic demands of the deposits in the channel were determined with electrolytic BOD cells and the sludges were placed in the cells within 24 hrs after collection. Nine sludge samples were taken from the entire 24-mi reach of the channel and benthic demands were determined at 32 C. The benthic oxygen demands of the sediments for quiescent conditions varied from 0.12 to 0.22 g/hr-m2 at 32 C. The BOD values for the sludges varied from 14,000 to 55,000 mg/kg. Correlations were made relating benthic demand to the BOD5 of the sludges. Benthic demands vs. temperature were studied for a sample from Mile 20 and a correlation of benthic demand vs. temperature was made. This allows the benthic demand at other temperatures to be determined and will be useful in modeling since the temperature of the channel varies during the year. The benthic oxygen demand for a scoured condition was the same as for a quiescent condition. The benthic oxygen demand for a completely suspended condition was 15-17 times that of a quiescent or scoured condition. Although there was an appreciable content of heavy metals in the sludges, there was apparently no inhibition of benthic organisms since the benthal demand values compared favorably with the literature.


67 p.


biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), benthos, channels, sediments, sediment analysis, sludge