David R. Beck

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Second Advisor

Dr. Steve Kohler

Third Advisor

Dr. Dave Barnes

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


It has been proposed that placing a geotextile over sediments with adsorbed contaminants can prevent bioaccumulation of the contaminants in larger animals by isolating the benthic organisms living within these sediments from fish. In conjunction with a field study carried out at Gull Creek, a laboratory study testing two geotextiles as biointrusion barriers and sediment filters was conducted.

Constant-head permeameters were run for seven days using cores from the field study area with a geotextile placed over the cores. For biointrusion barrier tests, medium sand was placed over the geotextile and spiked with nutrients. Following each trial, benthic organisms in the overlying sediments and in the cores were enumerated. Geotextiles tested as sediment filters had filters placed at the effluent tube of the permeameters, which allowed for the dry mass of sediment that passed through the geotextiles to be determined.

The geotextiles effectively prevented between 90 to 95% of the benthos from crossing into the overlying sediment. Only 0.006 to 0.012% of sediment was allowed to pass through the geotextiles. The study indicates that geotextile applications over contaminated sediments are a feasible and potentially effective remedial alternative.