Surface complexation modeling of groundwater arsenic mobility: Results of a forced gradient experiment in a Red River flood plain aquifer, Vietnam

Søren Jessen, Dieke Postma, Flemming Larsen, Quy Nhan Pham, Quynh Hoa Le, Thi Kim Trang Pham, Vu Long Tran, Hung Viet Pham, Rasmus Jakobsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

45 Citationer (Scopus)


Three surface complexation models (SCMs) developed for, respectively, ferrihydrite, goethite and sorption data for a Pleistocene oxidized aquifer sediment from Bangladesh were used to explore the effect of multicomponent adsorption processes on As mobility in a reduced Holocene floodplain aquifer along the Red River, Vietnam. The SCMs for ferrihydrite and goethite yielded very different results. The ferrihydrite SCM favors As(III) over As(V) and has carbonate and silica species as the main competitors for surface sites. In contrast, the goethite SCM has a greater affinity for As(V) over As(III) while PO 4 3- and Fe(II) form the predominant surface species. The SCM for Pleistocene aquifer sediment resembles most the goethite SCM but shows more Si sorption. Compiled As(III) adsorption data for Holocene sediment was also well described by the SCM determined for Pleistocene aquifer sediment, suggesting a comparable As(III) affinity of Holocene and Pleistocene aquifer sediments. A forced gradient field experiment was conducted in a bank aquifer adjacent to a tributary channel to the Red River, and the passage in the aquifer of mixed groundwater containing up to 74% channel water was observed. The concentrations of As (<0.013μM) and major ions in the channel water are low compared to those in the pristine groundwater in the adjacent bank aquifer, which had an As concentration of ~3μM. Calculations for conservative mixing of channel and groundwater could explain the observed variation in concentration for most elements. However, the mixed waters did contain an excess of As(III), PO 4 3- and Si which is attributed to desorption from the aquifer sediment. The three SCMs were tested on their ability to model the desorption of As(III), PO 4 3- and Si. Qualitatively, the ferrihydrite SCM correctly predicts desorption for As(III) but for Si and PO 4 3- it predicts an increased adsorption instead of desorption. The goethite SCM correctly predicts desorption of both As(III) and PO 4 3- but failed in the prediction of Si desorption. These results indicate that the prediction of As mobility, by using SCMs for synthetic Fe-oxides, will be strongly dependent on the model chosen. The SCM based on the Pleistocene aquifer sediment predicts the desorption of As(III), PO 4 3- and Si quite superiorly, as compared to the SCMs for ferrihydrite and goethite, even though Si desorption is still somewhat under-predicted. The observation that a SCM calibrated on a different sediment can predict our field results so well suggests that sediment based SCMs may be a feasible way to model multi-component adsorption in aquifers.

Sider (fra-til)186-201
Antal sider16
TidsskriftGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
StatusUdgivet - 1 dec. 2012


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