bacterial sulfate reduction
acidic mining lake
stable sulfur isotopes
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract Chemical, microbiological and stable isotope analyses of sediments from an acidic mining lake were used to evaluate whether biogeochemical processes, such as iron and sulfate reduction, are extant, because such processes can potentially generate alkalinity. Sediment cores were sliced in cm intervals to achieve a high resolution for spatial distribution of organic and inorganic components. Iron, sulfur, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus as well as the most probable number (MPN) of iron reducing bacteria, the amount of lipid phosphate and the stable isotope compositions of various sedimentary sulfur compounds were measured. Accumulation of degradable organic material, reduced mass fractions of iron, enhanced concentrations of lipid phosphate, high concentrations of DOC and ferrous iron in the pore water and a drastic change of sulfur isotope ratios in the upper 3 cm of the sediment all indicated a highly reactive zone of biogeochemical transformations. The data provide clear evidence for iron and sulfate reducing processes in the sediments that result in an increase of pH with depth.
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