Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Feb 15, 2013, Vol.103, p.316(17)
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2012.10.053 Byline: Anke F. Hofacker (a), Andreas Voegelin (b), Ralf Kaegi (b), Frank-Andreas Weber (c), Ruben Kretzschmar (a) Abstract: Riparian floodplains in temperate regions are affected by pronounced seasonal variations in soil and water temperature. This affects the rates and interplay of microbial and abiotic geochemical processes that control the fate of metals in contaminated floodplain soils, including potential release into surface and groundwater during periodic flooding. Here, we investigated how temperature affects chalcophile trace metal contaminants (Cu, Cd, Pb) upon flooding of a riparian soil contaminated by past mining activities. In soil microcosms incubated at 23, 14, and 5[degrees]C, the reductive dissolution of Mn(III,IV) and Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides and the release of dissolved Mn.sup.2+ and Fe.sup.2+ were significantly slower and less intense at the lower temperatures, which was reflected in a decrease of trace metal mobilization via the dissolution of metal oxide sorbents and cation competition for sorption sites. The onset of sulfate reduction was significantly delayed at lower temperatures and the apparent rate of sulfate reduction was decreased, especially at 5[degrees]C. This resulted in elevated high dissolved Cu, Cd, and Pb concentrations over weeks of flooding at 5[degrees]C, whereas colloidal metal sulfide formation dominated Cu, Cd, and Pb pore water dynamics at higher temperatures of 14 and 23[degrees]C due to fast sulfate reduction. Cu K-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy revealed metallic Cu(0) as the main colloidal Cu species prior to sulfate reduction at all three temperatures. Analytical electron microscopy showed that Cu(0) particles were associated with suspended bacteria, suggesting biomineralization of Cu(0). Upon onset of sulfate reduction, metallic Cu particles were transformed into Cu.sub.x S with incorporation of smaller amounts of Cd and Pb. Concomitantly, freely dispersed mixed Cu-Cd-Pb sulfide nanoparticles precipitated in the pore water. Other metals with higher metal sulfide solubility products did not react with the limited amounts of biogenic sulfide. The median size of the mixed metal sulfide nanoparticles increased from 21nm at 23[degrees]C to 70nm at 5[degrees]C. During [approximately equal to]30days of soil flooding at 23 and 14[degrees]C, Cu speciation in the soil matrix changed from Cu(II) bound to soil organic matter in the oxic soil to 66% Cu.sub.x S, with intermittent formation of about 14% metallic Cu(0). In contrast, at 5[degrees]C, sulfate reduction and formation of Cu(0) were strongly retarded. After [approximately equal to]30days of flooding at 23 and 14[degrees]C, nearly all Cd and about 25% of total Pb in the soil, were precipitated in mixed metal sulfides. Our results demonstrate that temperature controls trace metal dynamics during soil flooding via its influence on microbial reduction of terminal electron acceptors. Even at low temperatures, soil flooding may trigger the release of chalcophile metals from contaminated floodplain soils by sorbent reduction, competitive sorption, and formation of nanoparticulate metal-bearing colloids. Author Affiliation: (a) Soil Chemistry Group, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, CHN, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland (b) Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, CH-8600 Dubendorf, Switzerland (c) IWW Rheinisch-Westfalisches Institut fur Wasser Beratungs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, Regionalstandort Rhein-Main, D-64584 Biebesheim, Germany Article History: Received 13 June 2012; Accepted 30 October 2012 Article Note: (miscellaneous) Associate editor: Jon Chorover
Floods ; Biogeochemistry ; Oxides ; Groundwater ; Sulfates ; Bacteria ; Soil Chemistry ; Nanoparticles ; Sulfides ; Soil Carbon
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