The desire to develop rapid tools for monitoring particle-associated contaminants transport in Hamilton Harbour has led the search for fast and inexpensive tests that could be used as screening procedures prior to labour- and time-intensive conventional analytical techniques. Magnetic property measurements promised to be a viable technique if it can be shown that there is a relation between this property and contaminant concentrations in suspended and bottom sediments. Correlation between magnetic susceptibility and heavy metal concentrations in suspended and bottom sediments from Hamilton Harbour is investigated. Analyses of results from six stations and two core samples indicate that magnetic measurements provide a meaningful proxy for heavy metal analyses, and that post-depositional processes produce only very limited changes in either the magnetic and/or chemical data. Comparison of the magnetic signature and chemistry of the suspended sediments suggests that susceptibility can be used to rapidly map plume patterns in the water column.

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