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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Environmental Geochemistry Group - Prof. Dr. Britta Planer-Friedrich

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Ullrich, M; Pope, JM; Seward, T; Wilson, N; Planer-Friedrich, B: Sulfur redox chemistry governs diurnal antimony and arsenic cycles at Champagne Pool, Waiotapu, New Zealand, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 262, 164-177 (2013)

Champagne Pool, a sulfidic hot spring in New Zealand, exhibits distinct diurnal variations in antimony (Sb) and arsenic (As) concentrations, with daytime high and night-time low concentrations. To identify the underlying mobilization mechanisms, five sites along the drainage channel of Champagne Pool were sampled every two hours during a 24 hour period. Temporal variations in elemental concentrations and Sb, As, and sulfur (S) speciation were monitored in the discharging fluid. Total trace element concentrations in filtered and unfiltered samples were analyzed using ICP-MS, and Sb, As and S species were determined by IC-ICP-MS. Sulfur speciation in the drainage channel was dominated by thiosulfate and sulfide at night, while sulfate dominated during the day. The distinct diurnal changes suggest the transformations are caused by phototrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. These bacteria metabolize thiosulfate and sulfide in daylight to form sulfate and, as suggested by modeling with PhreeqC, elemental sulfur. Sulfide consumption during the day results in undersaturation of antimony sulfides, which triggers the additional release of dissolved Sb. For As, diurnal cycles were much more pronounced in speciation than in total concentrations, with di- and trithioarsenate forming at night due to excess sulfide, and monothioarsenate forming from arsenite and elemental sulfur during the day. Sulfur speciation was thus found to control Sb and As in terms of both solubility and speciation.

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