Trace Metals Speciation in Nearshore Anoxic and Suboxic Pore Waters

  • W. Berry Lyons
  • W. F. Fitzgerald
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 9)


Sedimentary pore waters were obtained seasonally from two nearshore areas in Long Island Sound, U.S.A. The pore waters were collected, separated from the sediments and analyzed utilizing an inert atmosphere and ultra-clean laboratory techniques in order to minimize any artifacts due to improper sampling and contamination. The pore fluids were analyzed for a variety of major and minor components as well as the trace metals Fe, Mn, Cu, Cd and Ag. The sediments from Branford Harbor were anoxic and bacterially mediated sulfate reduction was the major biogeochemical process taking place. As this process proceeds, SO 4 2− is consumed and HS, PO 4 3− , NH 4 + , titration alkalinity and dissolved organic carbon are produced. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that metal-polysulfide and bisulfide complexes may control the concentrations of dissolved Cu, and Ag in these pore waters, while the concentrations of Fe, Mn and Cd are controlled by other inorganic species. Except for Cu, there is little evidence to suggest that complexation with dissolved organic matter plays a major role in controlling the solubility of these trace metals in the anoxic waters under investigation.

On the other hand, the sediments from Mystic River showed little evidence of sulfate reduction. Enrichments of Fe, Mn, Cu, and Ag did occur in the surface pore waters. These enrichments are through to be due to either the reduction of Mn and Fe oxides or the oxidation of iron monosulfides.


Trace Metal Pore Water Sulfate Reduction Pore Fluid Interstitial Water 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Berry Lyons
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. F. Fitzgerald
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Marine Sciences InstituteUniversity of ConnecticutGrotonUSA

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