Metal Speciation in Water of the Flooded Mine “Arsenic” (Karelia, Russia): Equilibrium-Kinetic Modeling with a Focus on the Influence of Humic Substances

Abstract

Equilibrium-kinetic modeling allows investigating metal behavior in the water–rock-organic matter system with time to evaluate anthropogenic effects on the environment. In the article, the interactions of stagnant mine drainage water of the flooded mine “Arsenic” with ore and gangue minerals were simulated using different organic matter incorporation approaches. If the model is closed to humic substances (no additional organic matter input), most fulvic acids are bound in the Fe fulvate complex. While under the removal of Fe fulvate from the model, the Cu fulvate becomes prevalent, the contribution of the fulvate complexes with Zn, Mg, and Ca also increases. This scenario simulates the organo-mineral complexes behavior well and allows identifying the sequence of metal binding to organic ligands as follows Fe > Cu > Zn > Mg > Ca. The second scenario imitates the constant input of organic matter to the model (open system regarding humic substances). The dissolved metal concentrations in the model solution are extremely high in comparison to the mine drainage water. This scenario demonstrates that excessive input of organic matter leads to the accumulation of the metals in a dissolved form and blocks the secondary mineral formation despite the faster dissolution of the primary minerals under a more acidic pH than in the first scenario. However, despite the differences between the model solution and the mine drainage water, this scenario is useful to address specific issues associated with changes in natural and anthropogenic conditions. Both scenarios show the importance of organic matter incorporation to the equilibrium-kinetic models.

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Data availability

The data that support the findings are published (see references) and/or available upon request.

Code availability

The license for the database and program complex for thermodynamic and kinetic modeling of geochemical processes GEOCHEQ is distributed with the terms of the developers (Mironenko et al.) upon request.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Here and after percent (%) means mole percent (mol%).

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank professor A.Yu. Bychkov (Lomonosov Moscow State University) for valuable recommendations, A.G. Gridasov for his help with the field investigations, A.V. Zhilkina (GEOKHI RAS) for the analysis of water samples.

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Correspondence to Evgeniya A. Soldatova.

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Cherkasova, E.V., Konyshev, A.A., Soldatova, E.A. et al. Metal Speciation in Water of the Flooded Mine “Arsenic” (Karelia, Russia): Equilibrium-Kinetic Modeling with a Focus on the Influence of Humic Substances. Aquat Geochem (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10498-021-09393-3

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Keywords

  • Organo-mineral complexes
  • Fulvic acids
  • Humic acids
  • Competitive complexation
  • Pitkyarantsky ore district
  • Toxic metals