Identification of green rust in groundwater

B. C. Christiansen, T. Balic-Zunic, K. Dideriksen, S. L.S. Stipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Green rust, a family of Fe(II),Fe(III) layered double hydroxides, is believed to be present in environments close to the Fe(II)/Fe(III) transition zone. Attempts to identify members of this family in nature have proven difficult because the material is oxidized after only a few minutes exposure to air. In this paper, we present a sampling method for capturing green rust so it is not oxidized. We then we used the method to identify the compound in a groundwater sample taken below the water table from fractures in granite. X-ray diffraction patterns were weak, but clearly identical to those of synthetic GRCO3, the green rust familymemberwherecarbonate and water occupy the interlayer between the iron-hydroxide layers. The method was then tested on samples taken from an artesian well and a deep underground experimental station, both within the Fe(II)/Fe(III) redox zone. In both cases, GRCO3 could be identified. Currently, transport models for predicting the behavior of contaminants in groundwater do not include parameters for green rust. This work demonstrates they should.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3436-3441
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2009
Externally publishedYes

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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