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Methods to quantify groundwater pollution by airborne organic compounds and heavy metals

Schiedek, Thomas and Hinderer, Matthias (2003):
Methods to quantify groundwater pollution by airborne organic compounds and heavy metals.
In: Mitteilungshefte des IGW, (3), pp. 147-155. [Article]

Abstract

Groundwater pollution due atmospheric deposition was investigated applying a mass balance concept at the catchment scale. A simple mass balance (input/output) was used to quantify overall natural attenuation of heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Ni, Cu, Pb, and Cd) and phthalates (DMP, DBP and DEHP) in two forested catchments in SW Germany (Seebach and Denzenberg valley). Decreasing concentrations from rainwater to groundwater, sorption rates of mostly more than 60% comparing input and output fluxes and preferential accumulation in the upper soil horizon confirmed the atmospheric origin of the heavy metals and phthalates investigated as well as the role of soils as a major sink for these pollutants. Sorption under equilibrium conditions would lead to lower groundwater concentrations than monitored, implying an additional non-equilibrium transport of the pollutants through the unsaturated zone by preferential flow. We recommend catchment area studies to assess the long-term risk of groundwater pollution due to diffusive atmospheric deposition of contaminants with high persistence.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2003
Creators: Schiedek, Thomas and Hinderer, Matthias
Title: Methods to quantify groundwater pollution by airborne organic compounds and heavy metals
Language: English
Abstract:

Groundwater pollution due atmospheric deposition was investigated applying a mass balance concept at the catchment scale. A simple mass balance (input/output) was used to quantify overall natural attenuation of heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Ni, Cu, Pb, and Cd) and phthalates (DMP, DBP and DEHP) in two forested catchments in SW Germany (Seebach and Denzenberg valley). Decreasing concentrations from rainwater to groundwater, sorption rates of mostly more than 60% comparing input and output fluxes and preferential accumulation in the upper soil horizon confirmed the atmospheric origin of the heavy metals and phthalates investigated as well as the role of soils as a major sink for these pollutants. Sorption under equilibrium conditions would lead to lower groundwater concentrations than monitored, implying an additional non-equilibrium transport of the pollutants through the unsaturated zone by preferential flow. We recommend catchment area studies to assess the long-term risk of groundwater pollution due to diffusive atmospheric deposition of contaminants with high persistence.

Journal or Publication Title: Mitteilungshefte des IGW
Number: 3
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science > Applied Sedimentary Geology
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2015 06:59
Additional Information:

Issue 3: Diffuse Input of Chemicals into Soil and Groundwater-Assessment & Management; IGW Workshop 2003

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