Dissolved and solid-phase arsenic fate in an arsenic-enriched aquifer in the river Brahmaputra alluvial plain

  • Shirishkumar Baviskar
  • Runti Choudhury
  • Chandan Mahanta


Dissolved arsenic mobility in the environment is controlled by its associations with solid-phase As and other minerals by chemodynamics of adsorptions and co-precipitation. Arsenic mobilization potential and mechanisms in the groundwater of a part of the river Brahmaputra alluvial plain in India were inferred from aqueous and solid-phase geochemical analyses of groundwater samples and sediment cores from various depths. Sediments were analyzed for key parameters, e.g., total and sequentially extracted Fe, As, and Mn; organic carbon content; carbonate phases; and specific surface area, while groundwater samples collected from close proximity of the drilled bore well were analyzed for major and trace element hydrogeochemistry. Result shows Mn- and Fe-oxyhydroxides as the major leachable As solid phases. Median total leachable solid-phase As was found to be ~9.50 mg/kg, while groundwater As ranged between 0.05 and 0.44 mg/L from adjoining water wells. Morphological and mineralogical studies of the aquifer sediments conducted using scanning electronic microscope energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis indicate the major presence of Fe- and Mn-oxyhydroxides. Sequential leaching experiments along with the mineralogical studies suggest that bacterially mediated, reductive dissolution of MnOOH and FeOOH is probably an important mechanism for releasing As into the groundwater from the sediments.


Arsenic Brahmaputra SEM-EDX Sequential extraction XRD 



The authors would like to thank Ms. Jonali Saikia and Dr. Sandip Mondal for providing laboratorial assistance. The authors would also like to thank the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati for organizing funds for this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirishkumar Baviskar
    • 1
  • Runti Choudhury
    • 2
  • Chandan Mahanta
    • 2
  1. 1.Geo-Engineering Section, Faculty of Civil Engineering and GeosciencesTechnical University of DelftDelftNetherlands
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyGuwahatiIndia

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