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Title: Impact of sedimentary provenance and weathering on arsenic distribution in aquifers of the Datong basin, China: Constraints from elemental geochemistry

Arsenic (As)-contaminated aquifer sediments from Datong basin, China have been analyzed to infer the provenance and depositional environment related to As distribution in the aquifer sediments. The As content in the sediments ranged from 2.45 to 27.38 mg/kg with an average value of 9.54 mg/kg, which is comparable to the average value in modern unconsolidated sediments. However, minor variation in As concentration with depth has been observed in the core. There was a significant correlation between Fe, and Al and As, which was attributed to the adsorption or co-precipitation of As onto/with Fe oxides/hydroxides and/or Fe-coated clay minerals. Post-Archean Australian Shale (PAAS)-normalized REEs patterns of sediment samples along the borehole were constant, and the sediments had a notably restricted range of La-N/Yb-N ratios from 0.7 to 1.0. These results suggested that the provenance of the Datong basin remained similar throughout the whole depositional period. The analysis of major geochemical compositions confirmed that all core sediments were from the same sedimentary source and experienced significant sedimentary recycling. The co-variation of As, V/Al, Ni/Al and chemical index of alteration (CIA) values in the sediments along the borehole suggested that As distribution in the sediments was primarily controlled by weathering processes. The calculatedmore » CIA values of the sediments along the borehole indicate that a relative strong chemical weathering occurred during the deposition of sediments at depths of similar to 35 to 88 m, which was corresponding to the depth at which high As groundwater was observed at the site. Strong chemical weathering favored the deposition of Fe-bearing minerals including poorly crystalline and crystalline Fe oxide mineral phases and concomitant co-precipitation of As with these minerals in the sediments. Subsequent reductive dissolution of As-bearing poorly crystalline and crystalline Fe oxides would result in the enrichment of As in groundwater. In general, the chemical weathering during the deposition of the sediments governed the co-accumulation of Fe oxides and As in the aquifer sediments. And then, the reductive dissolution of Fe oxides/hydroxides is the mechanism of As enrichment in the groundwater in the Datong basin« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Hydrology, 519(D):3541-3549
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States