This complex investigation required the use of high-resolution sidescan sonar and remotely operated underwater vehicles to locate sea disposed munitions in water as deep as 1,500 feet. The SOEST's Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory's (HURL) two three-man PISCES research submersibles were deployed to validate the results of sonar data and take water and sediment samples in areas where military munitions were found.
"We know from archived records thousands of military munitions were sea disposed at HI-05. There were also some indications that as many as 16,000 M47 100-pound bombs containing approximately 73 pounds each of the chemical agent mustard were disposed in the area," said Dr. Margo Edwards. "The systematic approach that we developed in collaboration with personnel from the U.S. Army and private industry (Environet, Inc.) allowed us to identify more than 2,000 munitions on the seafloor in the study area. With assistance from the HURL, samples collected within a few feet of several munitions provided the study team the ability to assess the potential impact of sea disposed munitions on human health and the ocean environment, as well as to assess the impact of the ocean environment on sea disposed munitions."
Sediment, water and biological samples were analyzed at the University of Hawaii and independent laboratories on the mainland for munitions constituents, including explosive compounds like TNT, chemical agents and their breakdown products, and metals.
The HI-05 project report has six major conclusions, which may be summarized as:
Most munitions in the HI-05 Study Area were disposed of by ships that were underway as munitions were cast overboard.The integrity of munitions in the area spans a broad spectrum, with even the best-preserved munitions casings deteriorating at a yet-to-be determined rate. Skirts and pedestals observed at the base of munitions may be the result of rusting, possibly in combination with leakage of munitions constituents.
The analytical methods used to detect munitions constituents during the program were effective. With the exception of one unconfirmed detection of mustard, neither chemical agents nor explosives were detected in any samples.Analysis of sediment samples collected around several munitions showed relatively little influence from human activities or man-made objects. This is significant given that the samples were taken within six feet of the munitions.
The observations and data collected do not indicate any adverse impacts on ecological health in the HI-05 Study Area.
The risk to human health from the consumption of fish and shrimp collected near the HI-05 Study Area were within Environmental Protection Agency acceptable risk levels.
Mr. Tad Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health stated, "University of Hawaii at Manoa's School of Ocean Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and the quality team it assembled exceeded our expectations performing an extremely complex study with scientific rigor. By providing the Army with demonstrated, proven procedures for characterizing and assessing a munitions disposal site, SOEST has made a significant contribution to the Department of Defense's understanding of the potential effects of historic sea disposal sites on the ocean environment and those that use it."
The University of Hawaii undertook this project in partnership with Department of Defense's National Defense Center for Energy and the Environment. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environet, a local environmental engineering firm, consulted with the University of Hawaii on the project. The U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center provided chemical safety and analytical support for the project. The final report is available on the project website (www.hummaproject.com).
Contacts: University of Hawaii at Manoa: Margo Edwards (808) 956-5232
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health: Anne Johnson (703) 614-8464 or Dave Foster (703) 697-5344
Tara Hicks Johnson | EurekAlert!
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy