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Temporal variations of colloidal carrier phases and associated trace elements in a boreal river

Temporal variations of colloidal carrier phases and associated trace elements in a boreal river

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71(22): 5339-5354

Elemental size distributions, from truly dissolved through colloidal to particulate, have been studied in a subarctic boreal river. The measurements, carried out during 2002, ranged from winter to summer conditions, including an intense spring flood event. Results are reported for a total of 42 elements. Size distributions were characterised using a combination of cross-flow (ultra)filtration (CFF), flow field-flow fractionation (FlFFF), and diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT). The three techniques showed similar trends, but quantitative comparisons reveal some important differences that warrant further investigation. Previous work has identified two colloidal carrier phases in fresh waters, dominated by iron and carbon, respectively. The majority of the elements studied are associated with one or both of these colloidal carrier phases. The exceptions are the alkali metals and several anions that are only very weakly associated with colloidal material, and which therefore occur mainly as truly dissolved material (<1 kDa in molecular weight). We discuss the likely origin for the two colloidal carrier phases and consider how associated trace elements fit into the geochemical framework. The relative affinities of the elements for iron and carbon colloidal carrier phases are related to their chemistries, and are compared with earlier data from the Delsjo Creek in southern Sweden. Elemental colloidal concentrations show strong seasonal variations related to changes in the colloidal carrier phase(s) with which they associate. In particular, many elements show a strong spring maximum in colloidal concentrations associated with the strong maximum in colloidal carbon concentration during the spring flood.

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Accession: 023768225

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DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2007.09.016

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