The Influence of Bacterial Reduction on Concentrations of Sulphates in Deep Aquifers in River Drainage Basin
Tomasz Kotowski1, Aleksandra Burkowska2
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1Departament of Geology and Hydrogeology, Institute of Geography,
2Department of Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Protection,
Nicholaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2011;20(2):379-386
Our study attempts to determine the influence of bacterial reduction on sulphate concentrations in groundwaters. A buried valley in a southeastern section of the Gwda River drainage basin was selected for fieldwork near the towns of Wysoka and Bądecz. Deep aquifers in the area are known for their high sulphate concentrations that result from pyrite oxidation by the Thiobacillus denitrificans bacteria. Isotope compositions of SO42- ions show 34S enrichment at lower sulphate concentrations, which might indicate bacterial reduction processes. Theoretical curves of SO42- isotope composition and ion concentration change, drawn using a Rayleigh formula and the results of the determination of δ18O (SO42-) and δ34S (SO42-) suggest widely varying intensities of the sulphate reduction processes. It can be estimated that bacterial reduction eliminated between 30% and in excess of 50% of the initial concentrations of SO42- ions in individual cases.
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