STARDUST II - Spatial and Temporal Assessment of high Resolution Depth profiles Using novel Sampling Technologies
The fate of pollutants in fluvial and marine sediments in cross-border zones


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The specific objectives of the second phase of the project are:

  • Refinement and adaptation of the new technologies (DET, DGT - MEB-EDS, synchrotron, LA-ICP-MS, micro-drillings - microelectrodes - organic polluents)
  • Profound study on specific sites and modelling
  • Toxicology
  • Application on underwater sediments
  • Mesocosm and microcosm experiments
  • Database
  • Interactivity between database, distribution to a broad public, classification of the data, interactive and geographic module (GIS)
    • Input and update of the sample database
    • Continuation of the update of the project website
    • Translations of the reports
    • Promotion (publication, workshop/illustration day)
    • Development of an online data system
    • Development of an online geographic module
  • Transfer of technologies to other European countries.

The specific objectives of the first phase were:

  • Development and validation of DET and DGT techniques, including sample operation and detection methods in fresh- and seawater and estuarine environments. These techniques permit the determination of the concentration of pollutants in interstitial water with a minimum of perturbation during sampling. The DGT technique permits integrated measurements to be made over a period of several months. For some components unstable/stable or inorganic/organometal specifications will be determined
    • Taking advantage of the most recent developments in instrumental techniques such as laser ablation linked to ICP-MS high resolution, micro XRF, Raman spectra, ESCA, EPXMA for light-weighted elements, in combination with DET and DGT sampling, for the analysis and specification of metal traces and bio gene elements (P)
    • Development of measuring techniques for in situ determination of oxygen concentrations, sulphides and metals such as iron and manganese through voltametrics using micro-electrodes. Validating the method used includes application of quality control procedures.
  • Development and validation of high-resolution profiles in interstitial water with DET, DGT and voltametrics of metals and nutrients. The results will be compared to those obtained by using classical techniques, which are less effective in terms of resolution. These classical techniques having a reduced vertical resolution will be applied as a control
  • Development and validation of high-resolution profiles in the sediment phase using In-Re-spiked resin to harden the wet sediment. The analyses will be done using the techniques indicated above
  • Determination of re-mobilization of pollutants from sediments using high-resolution profiles obtained in interstitial water and sediments. Incidentally rates of exchange fluxes between water and sediment can be measured using lab-experiments (flux-corer). In such experiments even modifications in water quality can be simulated
  • Application of geo-chemical sediment models based on analytical results
  • Evaluation of mobilization fluxes in terms of bio-disponibility and eco-toxicology of pollutants
  • Improve exchanges and communication between students and researchers
  • Development of a layered database
  • Creation of a layered STARDUST web site where, throughout the project, restricted access to certain levels of the database will be given.

STARDUST II is a project funded by the INTERREG III A programme (France/Walloon Region/Flanders French-Flemish subprogramme) of the European Community's Regional Development Fund.
Hosted by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)