Sediment–Water Interfaces, Chemical Flux at

  • Louis J. ThibodeauxEmail author
  • Joseph Germano


Numerous individual transport processes which mobilize chemicals on either side of the interface have been studied. However, a consistent theoretical framework connecting the processes across the interface that correctly quantifies the overall flux remains elusive. This occurs because two fundamentally different individual flux relationships are needed to represent the two very different transport mechanisms needed for quantifying the numerous chemical, biological, and physical processes ongoing at this unique locale. The two basic types of transport processes are the chemical potential driven and the media advection driven. Several theoretical modeling approaches exist for combining these, but all have problematic conceptual features, which will be reviewed. By generalizing flux continuity across the interface, which is the fundamental basis for arriving at the well-known and accepted two-resistance theory, the “interface compartment model” is presented and offered as a unifying theory describing advection-driven and potential-driven transport across the sediment–water interface.


Water Interface Transport Coefficient Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Flux Equation Benthic Boundary Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Benthic boundary layer

A slow moving water layer above the sediment.

Bioturbation transport

A chemical mobility process driven by the presence of macrofauna and macroflora residing near the interface.

Chemical flux

The basic term that quantifies chemical mobility across an interface with units of mass per area per time (kg/m2/s)

Chemical mobility

A general term used to denote the idea that chemicals do move from place to place.


A real or imaginary plane which separates water from sediment.

Mass transfer rate

The chemical flux times the area perpendicular to its direction of movement (kg/s).

Sediment surface layers

A series of distinctive mud layers occupying thickness of several centimeters depth.

Transport model

One of several concepts for describing a chemical mobility process, and the associated formula or algorithm needed to describe it mathematically (a.k.a., the flux expression).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cain Department Chemical EngineeringLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Germano & Associates, Inc.BellevueUSA

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