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Identifying the Role of Bacteria in Accelerated Harbor Corrosion

Steel is corroding more than twice as fast as expected in some areas  of the Duluth-Superior Harbor. The Duluth Seaway Port Authority  estimates that repairs to harbor steel could cost up to $1   million  if the problem isn't addressed. To help determine corrosion causes,  divers will scrape biofilm (the bacteria and microorganisms living on  underwater surfaces) from highly corroded metal and from uncorroded  metal within the harbor. Researchers will analyze these samples,  looking for bacteria that are often associated with corrosion. Even if  these iron-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacterial groups are not  directly pitting the harbor's steel, this study could help to pinpoint  why the corrosion has accelerated, and guide monitoring efforts by the  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, and  the companies that operate docks and slips in the harbor.

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Researchers
Randall HicksPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 6 projects
Agencies
Minnesota Sea Grant College Program $ 49,967.00USDEstimates

Funding 30 projects for a total of $2,568,917.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Community
Organism
Physical/Chemical
Population
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Superior
State Province
Minnesota
Annex Numbers
Pollution from Non-Point Sources

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.