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Seasonal mobility of antimony in sediment-water systems in algae- and macrophyte-dominated zones of Lake Taihu (China)

Ren, Minyi, Wang, Dan, Ding, Shiming, Yang, Liyuan, Xu, Shiwei, Yang, Chenye, Wang, Yan, Zhang, Chaosheng
Chemosphere 2019 v.223 pp. 108-116
World Health Organization, anaerobic conditions, antimony, autumn, dialysis, eutrophication, geochemistry, iron oxides, manganese, oxidation, photochemistry, sediments, summer, water quality, winter, China
Differences in trophic status can lead to different water quality and sediment geochemistry characteristics, influencing antimony (Sb) mobility in sediments and its release into the water column. In this study, seasonal sampling was conducted in algal- and macrophyte-dominated zones of Lake Taihu, China. High-resolution dialysis (HR-Peeper) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) techniques were used to measure soluble Sb and DGT-labile Sb in the sediment-water profiles at a 4 mm vertical resolution. Results showed that total Sb in sediments from the two zones were on average 3.50 mg/kg and 3.21 mg/kg in the algal- and macrophyte-dominated zones, respectively, with the residual fraction being 96.3% and 95.4% of the total Sb contents in the two zones. In winter, soluble Sb concentrations in both zones increased. This was probably due to the oxidation of Sb(III) to Sb(V) by Mn and Fe oxides. In summer and autumn, soluble Sb concentrations in the algal-dominated region remained low. This is attributed to the dominance of insoluble Sb(III) in sediments under anoxic conditions under eutrophic environments. In contrast, soluble Sb concentrations in the macrophyte-dominated zone were significantly high in summer and were 4.15-times higher than limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). This likely resulted from the photochemical and rhizospheric oxidation of insoluble Sb(III) compounds. It is suggested that Sb contamination in the sediment-water system of the macrophyte-dominated zone deserves additional attention.