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Occurrence and characteristics of iron-bearing minerals in surface road dusts: a case study in the coastal areas of southern Fujian, China

Abstract

Purpose

Changes in the magnetic phase, magnetic concentration, and/or magnetic grain-sized of dust-bound iron-bearing minerals depend on both lithogenic components and anthropogenic inputs. Knowledge of the magnetic properties of road dusts in various road ecosystems is of paramount importance to control dust pollution for the benefit of the environment and human health.

Methods

The magnetic characteristics of road dusts, collected in the coastal areas of southern Fujian, China, were determined via magnetic measurements, X-ray diffraction analysis, Mössbauer spectroscopy (MS), and scanning electron microscopy with integrated energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry.

Results

Analyses of the temperature dependence of magnetization, backfield demagnetization, and hysteresis loops suggested that the main magnetic carriers in road dusts were low-coercivity minerals with minimal antiferromagnetic phases derived from anthropognic sources. The coefficients of variation for χLF, SIRM, and χARM were 53.46%, 50.98%, and 58.56%, respectively. Samples with high values of χLF had a high ratio of iron ions in the octahedral B and tetrahedral A sites in magnetite. The most common iron oxides in the dust-bound iron-bearing minerals were non-stoichiometric magnetite, hematite, and possibly metallic iron. Elevated concentrations of trace metals (e.g., Cd, Cr, Co, and V) in the dust-bound iron-bearing minerals partially confirmed the coexistence of magnetic minerals and trace metals in the road dusts.

Conclusions

Analysis of the spatial characteristics of magnetic concentration–related parameters will be useful in accurately documenting and tracking levels of pollution.

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Acknowledgments

Dan Y is grateful to Dr. Weiguo Zhang at State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University for his help in the magnetic measurements, Dr. Haiying Shi at the State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Xiamen University for her help in Mössbauer spectroscopy, and Dr. Emily Drummond at the University of British Columbia for her editing of the manuscript.

Funding

This research was financially supported by National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1406603 and 2016YFC0502901) and Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (31870483 and 31530008).

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Correspondence to Chongling Yan or Zhenhua Ding.

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Yang, D., Wang, M., Liu, J. et al. Occurrence and characteristics of iron-bearing minerals in surface road dusts: a case study in the coastal areas of southern Fujian, China. J Soils Sediments (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-020-02667-3

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Keywords

  • Surface road dusts
  • Iron species
  • Magnetization
  • Mӧssbauer spectroscopy