Huang, J-H; Matzner, E: Mobile arsenic species in unpolluted and polluted soils, The Science of the Total Environment, 377, 308-318 (2007), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.01.059
The fate and behaviour of total arsenic (As) and of As species in soils is of concern for the quality of drinking water. To estimate the relevance of organic As species and the mobility of different As species, we evaluated the vertical distribution of organic and inorganic As species in two uncontaminated and two contaminated upland soils. Dimethylarsinic acid (up to 6 ng As g− 1), trimethylarsine oxide (up to 1.5 ng As g− 1), 4 unidentified organic As species (up to 3 ng As g− 1) and arsenobetaine (up to 15 ng As g− 1), were detected in the forest soils. Arsenobetaine was the dominant organic As species in both unpolluted and polluted forest soils. No organic As species were detected in the contaminated grassland soil. The organic As species may account for up to 30% of the mobile fraction in the unpolluted forest floor, but never exceed 9% in the unpolluted mineral soil. Highest concentrations of organic As species were found in the forest floors. The concentrations of extractable arsenite were highest in the surface horizons of all soils and may represent up to 36% of total extractable As. The concentrations of extractable arsenate were also highest in the Oa layers in the forest soils and decreased steeply in the mineral soil. In conclusion, the investigated forest soils contain a number of organic As species. The organic As species in forest soils seem to result from throughfall and litterfall and are retained mostly in the forest floor. The relative high concentrations of extractable arsenite, one of the most toxic As species, and arsenate in the forest floor point to the risk of their transfer to surface water by superficial flow under heavy rain events. Keywords: Arsenic speciation; Forest soil; Forest floor; Grassland soil; Mobility
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