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Microscale investigations of the fate of heavy metals associated to iron-bearing particles in a highly polluted stream

Abstract : As it flows through a dense steelmaking area, the Fensch River does transport iron-rich particles and colloids, displaying high contents in metallic contaminants (Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni, and As). Chemical analysis using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was carried out on three compartments-waters, suspended materials, and sediments-along the river linear. The variations of metallic trace element concentrations along the river were shown to be partially related to external inputs (industrial and domestic wastewaters and urban surfaces leaching). However, some discrepancies of element partitioning were evidenced. Pb, Cu, and Mn tend to concentrate in suspended particulate and in dissolved fraction, while Cr and As follow the trend of Fe and concentrate within sediments of the most downstream station, just before the junction with Moselle waters. Zn appears strongly associated to iron-rich particles, resulting in a decrease of its concentration in waters for the last station. Along the Fensch linear, the variation of metal partitioning between water and particulate phases is accompanied with strong modifications of the nature and mineralogy of iron-rich particles, as evidenced by microanalyses using electron and X-ray beams. The combination of bulk analyses using ICP-MS and microanalyses applied to the three compartments allowed us to propose a three-step process "settling-weathering-resuspension" to explain Zn partitioning.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01077129
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Emmanuelle Montarges-Pelletier, Caroline Duriez, Jaafar Ghanbaja, Laurent Jeanneau, Gerard Falkenberg, et al.. Microscale investigations of the fate of heavy metals associated to iron-bearing particles in a highly polluted stream. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2014, 21 (4), pp.2744-2760. ⟨10.1007/s11356-013-2192-x⟩. ⟨hal-01077129⟩

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