Effect of channel bed sediment on the transport behaviour of superparamagnetic silica encapsulated DNA microparticles in open channel injection experiments

Yuchen Tang*, Fay van Rhijn, Ahmed Abdelrady, Jan Willem Foppen, Thom Bogaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Recently, superparamagnetic silica encapsulated DNA microparticles (SiDNAFe) were designed and in various experiments used as a hydrological tracer. We investigated the effect of bed characteristics on the transport behaviour and especially the mass loss of SiDNAFe in open channel injection experiments. Hereto, a series of laboratory injection experiments were conducted with four channel bed conditions (no sediment, fine river sediment, coarse sand, and goethite-coated coarse sand) and two water qualities (tap water and Meuse water). Breakthrough curves (BTCs) were analysed and modelled. Mass loss of SiDNAFe was accounted for as a first-order decay process included in a 1-D advection and dispersion model with transient storage (OTIS). SiDNAFe BTCs could be adequately described by advection and dispersion with or without a first-order decay process. SiDNAFe mass recoveries exhibited a wide range, varying from 50% to 120% from sediment-free conditions to coarse (coated) sediment. In 6 out of 8 cases, SiDNAFe mass recovery was complete. Retention of SiDNAFe was 1–2 orders of magnitude greater than gravitational settling rates, as determined in Tang et al. (Hydrological Processes, e14801, 2023). We reason this was due to grain-scale hyporheic flows and coupled water-sediment-particle interactions. The dispersive behaviour of SiDNAFe generally mimicked that of NaCl tracer. We concluded that SiDNAFe can be used in tracing experiments. However, water quality and sediment characteristics may affect the fate of SiDNAFe in river environments. SiDNAFe is a promising tool for particulate multi-tracing in large rivers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14962
Number of pages13
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume37
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • breakthrough curve
  • deposition
  • DNA
  • magnetic microparticle tracer
  • particle retention
  • riverbed

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