Nature Geoscience, 1/2010, Vol.3(1), pp.53-59
Bangladesh relies heavily on groundwater for the irrigation of dry-season rice. However, the groundwater used for irrigation often contains high concentrations of arsenic, potentially jeopardizing the future of rice production in the country. In seasonally flooded fields, topsoil arsenic concentrations decrease during the monsoon season, suggesting that flooding attenuates arsenic accumulation in the soils. Here we examine the chemistry of soil porewater and floodwater during the monsoon season in rice paddies in Munshiganj, Bangladesh, to assess whether flooding releases significant quantities of arsenic from the soils. We estimate that between 51 and 250 mg m -2 of soil arsenic is released into floodwater during the monsoon season. This corresponds to a loss of 13-62% of the arsenic added to soils through irrigation each year. The arsenic was distributed throughout the entire floodwater column by vertical mixing and was laterally removed when the floodwater receded. We conclude that monsoon floodwater removes a large amount of the arsenic added to paddy soils through irrigation, and suggest that non-flooded soils are particularly at risk of arsenic accumulation.
Environmental Geology ; Hydrochemistry ; Arsenic ; Asia ; Bangladesh ; Dynamics ; Floods ; Ganges River Basin ; Geochemistry ; Ground Water ; Hydrochemistry ; Indian Peninsula ; Metals ; Monsoons ; Munshiganj Bangladesh ; Numerical Models ; Paddy Soils ; Pollution ; Pore Water ; Soil Pollution ; Soils ; Transport;
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