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U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993, Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015

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Evaluation of Geochemical Indicators of Metal Adsorption in a Sand and Gravel Aquifer, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

by

Christopher C. Fuller (U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.), Jennifer A. Coston (U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.), James A. Davis (U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.), and Eleanor Dixon (U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.)

Abstract

The geochemical properties of an aquifer sand that control metal-ion adsorption were investigated to determine their potential use as indicators of the spatial variability of metal adsorption in the aquifer. Over the length of a 4.5-meter long core, lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) adsorption varied by a factor of two and four, respectively. Pb2+ and Zn2+ are adsorbed primarily by iron and aluminum oxide coatings on quartz-grain surfaces. Upon normalization to surface area, both Pb2+ and Zn2+ adsorption were significantly correlated with the amount of iron and aluminum dissolved from the aquifer material by partial chemical extraction. The use of partial chemical extraction combined with surface-area measurement as a potential indicator of metal adsorption in other aquifers needs to be tested.

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