Uncertainties in sediment quality weight-of-evidence (WOE) assessments

Graeme E. Batley, G. Allen Burton, Peter M. Chapman, Valery E. Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Uncertainties in sediment quality assessments are discussed in five categories: (1) sediment sampling, transport and storage; (2) sediment chemistry; (3) ecotoxicology; (4) benthic community structure; and (5) data uncertainties and QA/QC. Three major exposure routes are considered: whole sediments, and waters in sediment pores and at the sediment-water interface. If these uncertainties are not recognized and addressed in the assessment process, then erroneous conclusions may result. Recommendations are provided for addressing the identified uncertainties in each of the key areas. The purpose of this paper is to improve the reporting of sediment quality assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1547
Number of pages31
JournalHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This manuscript is a product of the Weight-of-Evidence Workshop held in Madrid, Spain, in May 2001. The Madrid workshop was supported by the International Lead Zinc Research Organization, the International Copper Association, the Nickel Producers Environmental Research Organization, the Cobalt Development Institute, and Rio Tinto Borax. The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry provided logistical support.


  • Benthos
  • Contamination
  • Risk assessment
  • Toxicity
  • Weight-of-evidence


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