Biogeochemical cycling of heavy metals in lake sediments: impact of multispecies diffusion and electrostatic effects

Li J., Sengor S. S.

COMPUTATIONAL GEOSCIENCES, cilt.24, sa.4, ss.1463-1482, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 24 Konu: 4
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s10596-019-09915-7
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.1463-1482


Fate and transport of heavy metals is controlled by the biogeochemical processes in the environment. Reactive transport modeling is particularly important for capturing the complex interplay between the microbial community dynamics and redox-stratified environments. The focus of this study is to investigate the impacts of (i) multicomponent diffusion (MCD) and (ii) electrical double layer (EDL) on reactive diffusive transport of heavy metals at Lake Coeur d'Alene (LCdA) sediments. The solute benthic fluxes at LCdA sediments are controlled by diffusion, and therefore, the biogeochemical model is focused purely on diffusive transport. In diffusive transport-dominated multicomponent systems, species-specific multicomponent diffusion (i.e., Nernst-Planck representation of diffusion) and the explicit treatment of electrostatic effects can play an important role on the overall dynamics of biogeochemical cycling of metals in the system. The results of this study demonstrate that the use of single uniform diffusion coefficient for all species in purely diffusion-dominated sediments may underestimate the mobility of heavy metals undergoing complex reaction network. This outcome is further signified when explicit treatment of EDL effects is considered in addition to MCD. The simulation results also illustrate the importance of aqueous metal (bi)sulfide complexes, especially when MCD and EDL effects are implemented in reactive transport simulations, impacting the solubility and dynamics of heavy metals in diffusion-dominated systems. The competitive effects of Fe-reducing bacteria FRB and sulfate reducing bacteria SRB activities on pH and overall biogeochemical processes are also demonstrated with multispecies diffusion and explicit treatment of electrostatic effects in the system.