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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Ecological Modelling - Prof. Dr. Michael Hauhs

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Haag, I; Moritz, K; Bittersohl, J; Lischeid, G: Factors controlling total concentration and aqueous speciation of aluminium in an acidic headwater stream of the Bavarian Forest National Park: a modelling approach., Acta hydrochim. hydrobiol., 29(4), 206-218 (2001), doi: 10.1002/1521-401X(200111)29:4<206::AID-AHEH206>3.0.CO;2-2
The purpose of the present paper is to analyse factors controlling total concentration and aqueous speciation of aluminium in the Große Ohe River, using a thermodynamic equilibrium model and a mixing approach. A model compound for humic substances is derived on the basis of the relation between anion deficit and the organic carbon content in the river as well as literature data. An equilibrium speciation model for aluminium is set up, considering this model compound and relevant inorganic solutes. Although the model cannot be verified directly, its results may be viewed as qualitatively correct. Applying the model to measured stream water samples highlights that aqueous speciation of aluminium is mainly controlled by the pH value and discharge and that free aluminium concentrations reach clearly toxic levels during acidic episodes. Comparing measured concentrations of sulfate and H+ and calculated concentrations of Al3+ with solubility curves of gibbsite like minerals and jurbanite clearly shows that total aluminium concentrations are not controlled by equilibria with these mineral phases alone. The observed relationship can be better explained from a mixture of two distinct waters, representing lowflow and highflow chemistry, and the resulting equilibrium concentrations. This indicates that total aluminium concentration, in particular during high discharge events, is mainly controlled by the mixture of waters with differing chemistry and flowpaths.
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