On the geological conditioning of arsenic pollution in shallow aquifers

M. E. Donselaar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Strong spatial variability of arsenic (As) concentrations over short distances and depth intervals characterizes shallow aquifers in fluvial and deltaic deposits in As-affected sedimentary basins. A literature review of key publications on arsenic concentration levels shows that the dominant geomorphological setting of the As-prone areas consists of meandering river deposits with sand-prone fluvial point-bar deposits surrounded by clay-filled (clay plug) former meander bends (oxbow lakes). Analysis of the lithofacies succession and organic matter in two wells in such geomorphology along the Ganges River reveals that the clay-plug deposits have a high TOC of 1.5%. Present-day, partly in-filled oxbow lakes have a rich plant and animal life which will be preserved in the anoxic environment at the poorly oxygenized lower part of the lake (hypolimnion). The clay-plug sediment is identified as the locus of microbial respiration that triggers the reductive dissolution of FeOOH and associated desorption of As.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArsenic Research and Global Sustainability - Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment, AS 2016
EditorsP. Bhattacharya, M. Vahter, J. Jarsjö, J. Kumpiene, A. Ahmad, C. Sparrenbom, G. Jacks, M.E. Donselaar, J. Bundschuh, R. Naidu
PublisherCRC Press / Balkema - Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-62943-8
ISBN (Print) 978-1-138-02941-5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event6th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment - http://www.as2016.se/, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 19 Jun 201623 Jun 2016
Conference number: 6


Conference6th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment
Abbreviated titleAS 2016


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