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Issue 4, 2009
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Presence and mobility of arsenic in estuarine wetland soils of the Scheldt estuary (Belgium)

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Abstract

We aimed to assess the presence and availability of arsenic (As) in intertidal marshes of the Scheldt estuary. Arsenic content was determined in soils sampled at 4 sampling depths in 11 marshes, together with other physicochemical characteristics. Subsequently, a greenhouse experiment was set up in which pore water arsenic (As) concentrations were measured 4 times in a 298-day period in 4 marsh soils at different sampling depths (10, 30, 60 and 90 cm) upon adjusting the water table level to 0, 40 and 80 cm below the surface of these soils. The As content in the soil varied significantly with sampling depth and location. Clay and organic matter seem to promote As accumulation in the upper soil layer (0–20 cm below the surface), whereas sulfide precipitation plays a significant role at higher sampling depths (20–100 cm below the surface). The As concentrations in the pore water of the greenhouse experiment often significantly exceeded the Flemish soil sanitation thresholds for groundwater. There were indications that As release is not only affected by the reductive dissolution of Fe/Mn oxides, but also by e.g. a direct reduction of As(V) to As(III). Below the water table, sulfide precipitation seems to lower As mobility when reducing conditions have been sufficiently established. Above the water table, sulfates and bicarbonates induce As release from the solid soil phase to the pore water.

Graphical abstract: Presence and mobility of arsenic in estuarine wetland soils of the Scheldt estuary (Belgium)

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Sep 2008, accepted on 09 Jan 2009 and first published on 25 Feb 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B815875D
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2009,11, 873-881
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    Presence and mobility of arsenic in estuarine wetland soils of the Scheldt estuary (Belgium)

    G. Du Laing, S. K. Chapagain, M. Dewispelaere, E. Meers, F. Kazama, F. M. G. Tack, J. Rinklebe and M. G. Verloo, J. Environ. Monit., 2009, 11, 873
    DOI: 10.1039/B815875D

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