Mineralogy and geochemistry of shallow sediments of Sonargaon, Bangladesh and implications for arsenic dynamics: Focusing on the role of organic matter

Ashraf Ali Seddique, Harue Masuda, Muneki Mitamura, Keiji Shinoda, Toshiro Yamanaka, Shinji Nakaya, Kazi Matin Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mineralogy and geochemistry of modern shallow sediments (up to 5. m thick) within the zone of water table fluctuations were studied to determine the likely sources and processes responsible for releasing As into groundwater. Samples were collected from different geological settings with varying groundwater As concentrations during dry (December 2005) and wet (September 2006) seasons at Sonargaon, Bangladesh. Stratigraphic sequences of the studied sediments showed three distinct lithofacies, viz. clayey-silt, silty-clay, and silty-very fine sand, corresponding to fine-grained overbank associations. Total As concentrations of shallow sediments ranged from <1 to 16. mg/kg without a significant difference in the range of As concentrations between the seasons. Sequential chemical extraction analysis of As revealed that >80% of the As was fixed in insoluble and organic phases, while the amount of As in reducible and acid-soluble phases was very low (<20%) and varied inversely with total As content. Total As concentration varied with mica content (muscovite and biotite) and its related elements (Al, Mg and Fe), but not with total organic C, suggesting that biotite is the major host phase of As. Arsenic appears to be liberated from biotite and/or other As-bearing minerals via chemical weathering (i.e., hydration-decomposition), either from the near-surface sediments which are subject to seasonal cycling of the redox conditions, or from within the aquifer sediments. Once released, progressive diagenesis to form As-bearing organic matter may be responsible for controlling As distribution in the sediments and coexisting groundwater of the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-599
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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