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Article

Biogeochemical Controls on the Potential for Long-Term Contaminant Leaching from Soils Developing on Historic Coal Mine Spoil

1
Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2
Department of Biology, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA
3
Department of Geosciences, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA
4
Integrated Biosciences, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA
5
Department of Geology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Rd, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA.
Received: 23 October 2020 / Revised: 18 December 2020 / Accepted: 28 December 2020 / Published: 30 December 2020
Coal mine spoil is widespread in US coal mining regions, and the potential long-term leaching of toxic metal(loid)s is a significant and underappreciated issue. This study aimed to determine the flux of contaminants from historic mine coal spoil at a field site located in Appalachian Ohio (USA) and link pore water composition and solid-phase composition to the weathering reaction stages within the soils. The overall mineralogical and microbial community composition indicates that despite very different soil formation pathways, soils developing on historic coal mine spoil and an undisturbed soil are currently dominated by similar mineral weathering reactions. Both soils contained pyrite coated with clays and secondary oxide minerals. However, mine spoil soil contained abundant residual coal, with abundant Fe- and Mn- (oxy)hydroxides. These secondary phases likely control and mitigate trace metal (Cu, Ni, and Zn) transport from the soils. While Mn was highly mobile in Mn-enriched soils, Fe and Al mobility may be more controlled by dissolved organic carbon dynamics than mineral abundance. There is also likely an underappreciated risk of Mn transport from coal mine spoil, and that mine spoil soils could become a major source of metals if local biogeochemical conditions change. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal mine spoil; toxic metals; soil pore water; metal biogeochemical cycling coal mine spoil; toxic metals; soil pore water; metal biogeochemical cycling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Singer, D.; Herndon, E.; Zemanek, L.; Cole, K.; Sanda, T.; Senko, J.; Perdrial, N. Biogeochemical Controls on the Potential for Long-Term Contaminant Leaching from Soils Developing on Historic Coal Mine Spoil. Soil Syst. 2021, 5, 3. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010003

AMA Style

Singer D, Herndon E, Zemanek L, Cole K, Sanda T, Senko J, Perdrial N. Biogeochemical Controls on the Potential for Long-Term Contaminant Leaching from Soils Developing on Historic Coal Mine Spoil. Soil Systems. 2021; 5(1):3. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010003

Chicago/Turabian Style

Singer, David, Elizabeth Herndon, Laura Zemanek, Kortney Cole, Tyler Sanda, John Senko, and Nicolas Perdrial. 2021. "Biogeochemical Controls on the Potential for Long-Term Contaminant Leaching from Soils Developing on Historic Coal Mine Spoil" Soil Systems 5, no. 1: 3. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010003

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