Isotopic Composition and Origin of Sulfide and Sulfate Species of Sulfur in Thermal Waters of Jiangxi Province (China)

  • Svetlana V. Borzenko
  • Elena V. ZippaEmail author
Original Article


The reduced sulfur species, sulfide, elemental and thiosulfate were considered in the thermal waters of Jiangxi Province for the first time. It is shown that the sulfur speciation content significantly varies and depends on the pH values. The major part of reduced sulfur refers to sulfide species in the nitric thermal waters, to elemental—in the carbon dioxide thermal waters. The presence of both reduced and oxidized sulfur speciation indicates the possibility of sulfide minerals hydrolysis and disproportionation of the product of this reaction (SO2) with the participation of hot water with the formation of elemental and sulfate sulfur. The isotopic composition of dissolved sulfate and sulfide sulfur speciation has shown that the process of bacterial reduction proceeds in the thermal waters, accompanied by accumulation of relatively heavy sulfur isotope in sulfates. Simultaneously with reduction, the oxidation of both sulfide minerals and newly formed hydrosulfide proceeds with formation of elemental, thiosulfates and also sulfates in the discharge zone was proceeded. It is shown that the process of sulfide oxidation mostly occurs in carbon dioxide thermal waters. Therefore, the elemental sulfur is predominant in carbon dioxide waters. The oxidation process is less significant in the nitric thermal waters, whereby the concentrations of sulfide ion are higher than sulfates. The ambiguous effect of sulfate reduction on the hydrogeochemical environment of the thermal waters is confirmed by the differing value of the carbon isotope ratio of HCO3 in the considered waters. The obtained isotopic composition data 34δS(SO42−) indicate host rocks as a source of sulfates in the thermal waters of Jiangxi Province.


Sulfur speciation Isotopic composition Thermal waters Sulfur origin 



Acknowledgments go to The Problem Research Laboratory of Hydrogeochemistry (National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University), Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and Cryology, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the laboratory of Far East Geological Institute, Far East Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (Vladivostok, Russia). The study was financially supported by grants from the Russian Science Foundation (Grant Number 17-17-01158) and Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant Number 18-55-80015).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and CryologySiberian Branch of Russian Academy of ScienceChitaRussia
  2. 2.National Research Tomsk Polytechnic UniversityTomskRussia
  3. 3.Tomsk Branch, Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesTomskRussia

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