Title: Erosion and physical transport via overland flow of arsenic and lead bound to silt-sized particles.
Authors: Cadwalader, G Owen; Renshaw, Carl E; Jackson, Brian P; Magilligan, Francis J; Landis, Joshua D; Bostick, Benjamin C
Published In Geomorphology (Amst), (2011 May 01)
Abstract: Understanding of the transport mechanisms of contaminated soils and sediment is essential for the sustainable management of contaminated lands. In New England and elsewhere, vast areas of agricultural lands are contaminated by the historical application of lead-arsenate pesticides. Left undisturbed the physical and chemical mobility of As and Pb in these soils is limited due to their strong affinity for adsorption onto solid phases. However, soil disturbance promotes erosion and overland flow during intense rainstorms. Here we investigate the event-scale transport of disturbed As and Pb contaminated soils through measurement of concentrations of As and Pb in suspended sediment and changes in Pb isotopic ratios in overland flow. Investigation of several rain events shows that where land disturbance has occurred, physical transport of silt-sized particles and aggregates is the primary transport vector of As and Pb derived from pesticide-contaminated soil. Although both As and Pb are associated with similarly-sized particles, we find that solid-phase As is more effectively mobilized and transported than Pb. Our results demonstrate that anthropogenic land disturbance of historical lands contaminated with lead-arsenate pesticides may redistribute, through physical transport, significant amounts of As, and lesser amounts of Pb, to riparian and stream sediments, where they are potentially more bioavailable.
PubMed ID: 21552357
MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication