Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Mercury Isotopic Fractionation during Pedogenesis in a Tropical Forest Soil Catena (French Guiana): Deciphering the Impact of Historical Gold Mining

Abstract : We used natural mercury (Hg) stable isotopes to investigate the Hg cycle in a rainforest soil catena (French Guiana) partially gold-mined during the early 1950s. Litterfall showed homogeneous Δ199Hg values [-0.18 ± 0.05‰, i.e., a modern gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) isotopic signature]. After litter decomposition, Hg bound to organic matter (OM) is mixed with Hg from pristine (-0.55 ± 0.22‰) or gold-mined (-0.09 ± 0.16‰) mineral materials. Negative Δ199Hg values in deep pristine mineral horizons (-0.60 ± 0.16‰) suggest the transfer of Hg bound to dissolved OM depleted in odd isotopes due to mass-independent fractionation during Hg abiotic reduction. Perennial palm tree leaves collected above gold-mined and pristine soil recorded contrasting Δ199Hg signatures likely resulting from GEM re-emission processes from soils and leaf surfaces. Upslope, soil δ202Hg signatures showed a negative shift (ϵ ∼ -1‰) with depth attributed to mass-dependent fractionation during Hg sorption and complexation onto iron oxides and dissolved OM. Downslope, higher δ202Hg values in soils resulted from hydromorphy [lower humification, greater Hg(II) reduction, etc.]. The unique Hg isotopic signatures of Amazonian soils probably result in multistep fractionation processes during pedogenesis (millions of years) and in a potentially different Hg isotopic signature of preanthropogenic background GEM.
Complete list of metadata

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01895454
Contributor : Sylvie Blanc <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 15, 2018 - 11:34:02 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 2:58:06 PM

Identifiers

Citation

S. Guédron, David Amouroux, Emmanuel Tessier, C. Grimaldi, Julien Barre, et al.. Mercury Isotopic Fractionation during Pedogenesis in a Tropical Forest Soil Catena (French Guiana): Deciphering the Impact of Historical Gold Mining. Environmental Science and Technology, American Chemical Society, 2018, 52 (20), pp.11573-11582. ⟨10.1021/acs.est.8b02186⟩. ⟨hal-01895454⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

192