skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Anoxia stimulates microbially catalyzed metal release from Animas River sediments

Abstract

The Gold King Mine spill in August 2015 released 11 million liters of metal-rich mine waste to the Animas River watershed, an area that has been previously exposed to historical mining activity spanning more than a century. Although adsorption onto fluvial sediments was responsible for rapid immobilization of a significant fraction of the spill-associated metals, patterns of longer-term mobility are poorly constrained. Metals associated with river sediments collected downstream of the Gold King Mine in August 2015 exhibited distinct presence and abundance patterns linked to location and mineralogy. Simulating riverbed burial and development of anoxic conditions, sediment microcosm experiments amended with Animas River dissolved organic carbon revealed the release of specific metal pools coupled to microbial Fe- and SO 4 2-reduction. Results suggest that future sedimentation and burial of riverbed materials may drive longer-term changes in patterns of metal remobilization linked to anaerobic microbial metabolism, potentially driving decreases in downstream water quality. Such patterns emphasize the need for long-term water monitoring efforts in metal-impacted watersheds.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1408406
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts; Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 4
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Saup, Casey M., Williams, Kenneth H., Rodríguez-Freire, Lucía, Cerrato, José M., Johnston, Michael D., and Wilkins, Michael J. Anoxia stimulates microbially catalyzed metal release from Animas River sediments. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1039/C7EM00036G.
Saup, Casey M., Williams, Kenneth H., Rodríguez-Freire, Lucía, Cerrato, José M., Johnston, Michael D., & Wilkins, Michael J. Anoxia stimulates microbially catalyzed metal release from Animas River sediments. United States. doi:10.1039/C7EM00036G.
Saup, Casey M., Williams, Kenneth H., Rodríguez-Freire, Lucía, Cerrato, José M., Johnston, Michael D., and Wilkins, Michael J. Mon . "Anoxia stimulates microbially catalyzed metal release from Animas River sediments". United States. doi:10.1039/C7EM00036G. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1408406.
@article{osti_1408406,
title = {Anoxia stimulates microbially catalyzed metal release from Animas River sediments},
author = {Saup, Casey M. and Williams, Kenneth H. and Rodríguez-Freire, Lucía and Cerrato, José M. and Johnston, Michael D. and Wilkins, Michael J.},
abstractNote = {The Gold King Mine spill in August 2015 released 11 million liters of metal-rich mine waste to the Animas River watershed, an area that has been previously exposed to historical mining activity spanning more than a century. Although adsorption onto fluvial sediments was responsible for rapid immobilization of a significant fraction of the spill-associated metals, patterns of longer-term mobility are poorly constrained. Metals associated with river sediments collected downstream of the Gold King Mine in August 2015 exhibited distinct presence and abundance patterns linked to location and mineralogy. Simulating riverbed burial and development of anoxic conditions, sediment microcosm experiments amended with Animas River dissolved organic carbon revealed the release of specific metal pools coupled to microbial Fe- and SO42-reduction. Results suggest that future sedimentation and burial of riverbed materials may drive longer-term changes in patterns of metal remobilization linked to anaerobic microbial metabolism, potentially driving decreases in downstream water quality. Such patterns emphasize the need for long-term water monitoring efforts in metal-impacted watersheds.},
doi = {10.1039/C7EM00036G},
journal = {Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts},
number = 4,
volume = 19,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Mar 06 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Mon Mar 06 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}