WTC geochemical fingerprint recorded in New York Harbor sediments



The terrorist-instigated collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers in New York City on 11 September 2001; the resultant fires that burned at the excavation site for three months afterwards; and subsequent site-remediation activities released dust, debris, and a wide variety of particle-associated contaminants to the surrounding urban environment.

Although there is a general understanding of fine-particle and contaminant transport and accumulation in coastal areas such as the Hudson River estuary, determining the spatial and temporal variations in particle and contaminant dynamics can be difficult, since fine-particle transport usually involves numerous short-term episodes of deposition and resuspension,and because intense, short-term events (storms and catastrophes) are often more important than those that occur during normal flow conditions [Olsen et al., 1984; Olsen et al., 1993; Bopp et al., 1998; Woodruff et al., 2001]]