Dissolved arsenic typically results from chemical weathering of arsenic rich sediments and is most often found in oxidized forms in surface water. The mobility of arsenic is controlled by its valence state and also by its association with iron oxides minerals, the forms of which are both influenced by abiotic and biotic processes in aqueous environment. In this study, speciation methods were used to measure and confirm the presence of reduced arsenic species in the surface water of Frenchman creek, a gaining stream that crosses the Colorado-Nebraska border. Selective extraction analysis of aquifer and stream bed sediments shows that the bulk of the arsenic occurs with labile iron-rich oxy(hydroxide) minerals. Total dissolved arsenic in surface and groundwater ranged from ~3–18 µg L−1, and reduced arsenic species comprise about 41% of the total dissolved arsenic (16.0 µg L−1) in Frenchman creek. Leachable arsenic in the aquifer sediment samples ranged up to 1553 µg kg−1, while samples from Frenchman creek bed sediments contained 4218 µg kg−1. Dynamic surface and groundwater interaction sustains arsenite in iron-rich surface headwaters, and the implied toxicity of reduced arsenic in this hydrogeological setting, which can be important in surface water environments around the globe.
- Reducing environment
- Surface-groundwater interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis