Effect of water table level on metal mobility at different depths in wetland soils of the Scheldt estuary (Belgium)

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An experiment was set up to assess the factors affecting metal mobility in five wetland soils of the Scheldt estuary at different sampling depths when subjecting the soils to various water table levels. Pore water metal concentrations were monitored for 10 months at four sampling depths (10, 30, 60 and 90 cm) upon adjusting the water table level to 0, 40 and 80 cm below the surface of the soils. Nickel (Ni) release is facilitated by reductive conditions. These reductive conditions mainly occur below the water table. The fate of chromium (Cr) under reductive conditions seems to be promoted by the presence of dissolved organic matter. However, Cr fate seems to be inconsistent between the soils, as it is affected by a series of counteracting mechanisms. Copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and especially cadmium (Cd) are all primarily released above the water table under high salinity conditions. These elements are also released below or just above the water table when organic matter is being decomposed, resulting in calcium (Ca), manganese (Mn), Ni and/or iron (Fe) release upon CO2 accumulation and Fe/Mn oxide reduction, without being accompanied by sulphide production. Their mobility is low under reducing conditions, i.e. in the presence of sulphides, whereas the complexation by soluble organic matter especially seems to promote Cu mobility. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.




Du Laing, G., Meers, E., Dewispelaere, M., Rinklebe, J., Vandecasteele, B., Verloo, M. G., & Tack, F. M. G. (2009). Effect of water table level on metal mobility at different depths in wetland soils of the Scheldt estuary (Belgium). Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 202(1–4), 353–367. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-009-9982-2

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