Tracing the cycling and fate of the munition, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in a simulated sandy coastal marine habitat with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[RDX]
Coastal marine habitats become contaminated with the munitions constituent, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-trazine (RDX), via military training, weapon testing and leakage of unexploded ordnance. This study used 15N labeled RDX in simulated aquarium-scale coastal marine habitat containing seawater, sediment, and biota to track removal pathways from surface water including sorption onto particulates, degradation to nitroso-triazines and mineralization to dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN). The two aquaria received continuous RDX inputs to maintain a steady state concentration (0.4 mg L−1) over 21 days. Time series RDX and nitroso-triazine concentrations in dissolved (surface and porewater) and sorbed phases (sediment and suspended particulates) were analyzed. Distributions of DIN species (ammonium, nitrate + nitrite and dissolved N2) in sediments and overlying water were also measured along with geochemical variables in the aquaria. Partitioning of RDX and RDX-derived breakdown products onto surface sediment represented 13% of the total added 15N as RDX (15N-[RDX]) equivalents after 21 days. Measured nitroso-triazines in the aquaria accounted for 6–13% of total added 15N-[RDX]. 15N-labeled DIN was found both in the oxic surface water and hypoxic porewaters, showing that RDX mineralization accounted for 34% of the 15N-[RDX] added to the aquaria over 21 days. Labeled ammonium (15NH4+, found in sediment and overlying water) and nitrate + nitrite (15NOX, found in overlying water only) together represented 10% of the total added 15N-[RDX]. The production of 15N labeled N2(15N2), accounted for the largest individual sink during the transformation of the total added 15N-[RDX] (25%). Hypoxic sediment was the most favorable zone for production of N2, most of which diffused through porous sediments into the water column and escaped to the atmosphere.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Tracing the cycling and fate of the munition, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in a simulated sandy coastal marine habitat with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[RDX]|
|Series title||Science of the Total Environment|
|Contributing office(s)||WMA - Earth System Processes Division|