Reductive Dissolution of Fe-oxyhydroxides a Potential Mechanism for Arsenic Release into Groundwater in the Alluvial Plain of River Brahmaputra

  • Shirishkumar M. Baviskar
  • Runti Choudhury
Part of the Advances in Water Security book series (AWS)


The mobilization of dissolved arsenic (As) in groundwater environment is controlled by its chemodynamics associated with solid-phase arsenic. The mechanism of Arsenic mobilization in the Groundwater of the alluvial plains of river Brahmaputra were studied from aqueous and solid-phase geochemical analyses of groundwater samples and sediment cores at various depths from a borehole. The sediments cores were analyzed for parameters like total and sequentially extracted Fe and As, organic carbon content and carbonate phases. The groundwater samples collected from the close proximity of the drilled bore well were analyzed for major and trace element hydrogeochemistry. Fe oxyhydroxides were observed as the major leachable for arsenic solid phases. The presence of Fe oxyhydroxides was found in the aquifer sediments using scanning electronic microscope energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. This experimental research study suggest that bacterially mediated reductive dissolution FeOOH is probably an important mechanism for releasing As from the sediments into the groundwater.


  1. Acharyya SK (2002) Arsenic contamination in groundwater affecting major parts of southern West Bengal and parts of western Chhattisgarh: source and mobilization process. Curr Sci 82:25–37Google Scholar
  2. Al-Sid-Cheikh M, Pédrot M, Dia A et al (2015) Interactions between natural organic matter, sulfur, arsenic and iron oxides in re-oxidation compounds within riparian wetlands: NanoSIMS and X-ray adsorption spectroscopy evidences. Sci Total Environ 515–516:118–128. Scholar
  3. Anawar HM, Akai J, Sakugawa H (2004) Mobilization of arsenic from subsurface sediments by effect of bicarbonate ions in groundwater. Chemosphere 54:753–762. Scholar
  4. Baig JA, Kazi TG, Arain MB et al (2009) Arsenic fractionation in sediments of different origins using BCR sequential and single extraction methods. J Hazard Mater 167:745–751. Scholar
  5. Baviskar S, Choudhury R, Mahanta C (2015) Dissolved and solid-phase arsenic fate in an arsenic-enriched aquifer in the river Brahmaputra alluvial plain. Environ Monit Assess 187:93. Scholar
  6. Bengston L, Enell H (1986) Handbook of Holocene paleoecology and paleohydrology. In: Buglund BE (ed) Chemical analysis. John Wiley, pp 23–51Google Scholar
  7. Bhattacharya S, Guha G, Chattopadhyay D et al (2013) Co-deposition and distribution of arsenic and oxidizable organic carbon in the sedimentary basin of West Bengal. India J Anal Sci Technol 4:11.
  8. Bhattacharyya R, Chatterjee D, Nath B et al (2003) High arsenic groundwater: mobilization, metabolism and mitigation – an overview in the Bengal Delta Plain. Mol Cell Biochem 253:347–355. Scholar
  9. Blute NK, Jay JA, Swartz CH et al (2009) Aqueous and solid phase arsenic speciation in the sediments of a contaminated wetland and riverbed. Appl Geochem 24:346–358. Scholar
  10. Chakraborti D (2011) Arsenic: occurrence in groundwater. Encycl Environ Heal:165–180. Scholar
  11. Chakraborti D, Sengupta MK, Rahman MM et al (2004) Groundwater arsenic contamination and its health effects in the Ganga-Meghna-Brahmaputra plain. J Environ Monit 6:74N–83NCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chakraborti D, Singh EJ, Das B et al (2008) Groundwater arsenic contamination in Manipur, one of the seven North-Eastern Hill states of India: a future danger. Environ Geol 56:381–390. Scholar
  13. Chakraborty S, Burnol A, Stüben D et al (2009) Journal of hydrology. Elsevier Science Pub. CoGoogle Scholar
  14. Dai X, Li P, Tu J et al (2018) Evidence of arsenic mobilization mediated by an indigenous iron reducing bacterium from high arsenic groundwater aquifer in Hetao Basin of Inner Mongolia, China. Int Biodeterior Biodegradation 128:22–27. Scholar
  15. Dean WE (1974) Determination of carbonate and organic matter in calcareous sediments and sedimentary rocks by loss on ignition: comparison with other methods. J Sediment Petrol 44:242–248Google Scholar
  16. Eliche E (2009) Arsenic mobilization processes in the red river delta, Vietnam towards a better understanding of the patchy distribution of dissolved arsenic in alluvial deposits. Scientific Publishing, KarlsruheGoogle Scholar
  17. Fendorf S, Eick MJ, Grossl P, Sparks DL (1997) Arsenate and chromate retention mechanisms on goethite. 1. Surface structure. Environ Sci Technol 31(2):315–320. Scholar
  18. Filgueiras AV, Lavilla I, Bendicho C (2002) Chemical sequential extraction for metal partitioning in environmental solid samples. J Environ Monit 4:823–857. Scholar
  19. Goldberg S, Johnston CT (2001) Mechanisms of arsenic adsorption on amorphous oxides evaluated using macroscopic measurements, vibrational spectroscopy, and surface complexation modeling. J Colloid Interface Sci 234:204–216. Scholar
  20. Goswami R, Rahman MM, Murrill M et al (2014) Arsenic in the groundwater of Majuli – The largest river island of the Brahmaputra: magnitude of occurrence and human exposure. J Hydrol 518:354–362. Scholar
  21. Haque S, Ji J, Johannesson KH (2008) Evaluating mobilization and transport of arsenic in sediments and groundwaters of Aquia aquifer, Maryland, USA. J Contam Hydrol 99:68–84. Scholar
  22. Horneman A, van Geen A, Kent DV et al (2004) Decoupling of As and Fe release to Bangladesh groundwater under reducing conditions. Part I: evidence from sediment profile. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 68:3459–3475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Haavard H (2004) Trace elements determination AAS. Norwegian Institute for Water Research. Horizontal – 20Google Scholar
  24. Lawson M, Polya DA, Boyce AJ et al (2016) Tracing organic matter composition and distribution and its role on arsenic release in shallow Cambodian groundwaters. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 178:160–177. Scholar
  25. Mahanta C, Choudhury R, Basu S et al (2015a) Preliminary assessment of arsenic distribution in Brahmaputra River basin of India based on examination of 56,180 public groundwater wells. In: Safe and sustainable use of arsenic-contaminated aquifers in the Gangetic Plain. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 57–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mahanta C, Enmark G, Nordborg D et al (2015b) Hydrogeochemical controls on mobilization of arsenic in groundwater of a part of Brahmaputra river floodplain, India. J Hydrol Reg Stud 4:154–171. Scholar
  27. Manning BA, Goldberg S (1997) Adsorption and stability of arsenic(III) at the clay mineral−water interface. Environ Sci Technol 31:2005–2011. Scholar
  28. Manning BA, Goldberg S (1996) Modeling arsenate competitive adsorption on kaolinite, montmorillonite and illite. Clay Clay Miner 44:609–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mayorga P, Moyano A, Anawar HM, García-Sánchez A (2013) Temporal variation of arsenic and nitrate content in groundwater of the Duero River Basin (Spain). Phys Chem Earth, Parts A/B/C 58–60:22–27. Scholar
  30. Moeck P (2008) Structural identification of cubic iron-oxide nanocrystal mixtures: X-ray powder diffraction versus quasi kinematic transmission electron microscopy. arXiv preprint arXiv:0804.0063Google Scholar
  31. Mohammed Abdul KS, Jayasinghe SS, Chandana EPS et al (2015) Arsenic and human health effects: a review. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 40:828–846. Scholar
  32. Mukherjee A, Scanlon BR, Fryar AE et al (2012) Solute chemistry and arsenic fate in aquifers between the Himalayan foothills and Indian craton (including central Gangetic plain): influence of geology and geomorphology. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 90:283–302. Scholar
  33. Park JH, Han Y-S, Ahn JS (2016) Comparison of arsenic co-precipitation and adsorption by iron minerals and the mechanism of arsenic natural attenuation in a mine stream. Water Res 106:295–303. Scholar
  34. Pedersen HD, Postma D, Jakobsen R (2006) Release of arsenic associated with the reduction and transformation of iron oxides. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 70:4116–4129. Scholar
  35. Quicksall AN, Bostick BC, Sampson ML (2008) Linking organic matter deposition and iron mineral transformations to groundwater arsenic levels in the Mekong delta, Cambodia. Appl Geochem 23:3088–3098. Scholar
  36. Reza AHMS, Jean J-S, Lee M-K et al (2010) Implications of organic matter on arsenic mobilization into groundwater: evidence from northwestern (Chapai-Nawabganj), central (Manikganj) and southeastern (Chandpur) Bangladesh. Water Res 44:5556–5574. Scholar
  37. Rowland HAL, Pederick RL, Polya DA et al (2007) The control of organic matter on microbially mediated iron reduction and arsenic release in shallow alluvial aquifers, Cambodia. Geobiology 5:281–292. Scholar
  38. Sharma JN (2005) Fluvial process and morphology of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India. Geomorphology 70:226–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Singh AK (2004) Arsenic contamination in groundwater of North Eastern India. In: Proceedings of 11th national symposium on hydrology with focal theme on water quality, pp 255–262Google Scholar
  40. Smedley P, Kinniburgh D (2002) A review of the source, behaviour and distribution of arsenic in natural waters. Appl Geochem 17:517–568. Scholar
  41. Smith AH, Ercumen A, Yuan Y, Steinmaus CM (2009) Increased lung cancer risks are similar whether arsenic is ingested or inhaled. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 19:343–348. Scholar
  42. Sompongchaiyakul P, Sirinawin W (2004) Arsenic, chromium and mercury in surface sediment of Songkhla Lake System, Thailand, Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution, 4(1):17–24Google Scholar
  43. Tessier A, Campbell PGC, Bisson M (1979) Sequential extraction procedure for the speciation of particulate trace metals. Anal Chem 51(7):844–851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Waychunas G, Rea B, Fuller C, Davis J (1993) Surface chemistry of ferrihydrite: Part 1. EXAFS studies of the geometry of coprecipitated and adsorbed arsenate. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 57:2251–2269. Scholar
  45. Welch AH, Stollenwerk KG (eds) (2003) Arsenic in ground water. Springer US, BostonGoogle Scholar
  46. Yu K, Gan Y, Zhou A et al (2018a) Organic carbon sources and controlling processes on aquifer arsenic cycling in the Jianghan Plain, central China. Chemosphere 208:773–781. Scholar
  47. Yu Q, Wang Y, Xie X, Currell M (2018b) Reactive transport model for predicting arsenic transport in groundwater system in Datong Basin. J Geochemical Explor 190:245–252. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirishkumar M. Baviskar
    • 1
  • Runti Choudhury
    • 2
  1. 1.DHI (India) Water & Environment Pvt LtdNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesGauhati UniversityGuwahatiIndia

Personalised recommendations