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Metal(loid) speciation and size fractionation in sediment pore water depth profiles examined with a new meso profiling system

Schroeder, Henning, Fabricius, Anne-Lena, Ecker, Dennis, Ternes, Thomas A., Duester, Lars
Chemosphere 2017 v.179 pp. 185-193
acidification, antimony, arsenic, atomic absorption spectrometry, cadmium, cobalt, copper, fractionation, freshwater, iron, manganese, marine sediments, mining, molybdenum, nickel, oxygen, pH, redox potential, rivers, silver, vanadium, zinc, Germany
In an exemplary incubation study with an anaerobic sediment sampled at an oxbow of the river Lahn in Germany (50°18′56.87″N; 7°37′41.25″E) and contaminated by former mining activity, a novel meso profiling and sampling system (messy) is presented. Messy enables a low invasive, automated sampling of pore water profiles across the sediment water interface (SWI), down to ∼20 cm depth with a spacial resolution of 1 cm. In parallel to the pore water sampling it measures physicochemical sediment parameters such as redox potential and pH value. In an incubation experiment of 151 days the ability of the setup was proven to address several different aspects relevant for fresh water and marine sediment studies: (i) The influence of mechanical disturbance and oxygen induced acidification on the mobility of 13 metals and metalloids (Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sb, U, V, Zn) was quantified based on 11 profiles. The analytes were quantified by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Three groups of elements were identified with respect to the release into the pore water and the overlying water under different experimental conditions. (ii) The capability to investigate the impacts of changing physicochemical sediment properties on arsenic and antimony (III/V) speciation is shown. (iii) An approach to obtain information on size fractionation effects and to address the colloidal pore water fractions (0.45 μm–16 μm) was successfully conducted for the elements Ag, As, Cu, Fe and Mn.