Arsenic species in ecosystems affected by arsenic-rich spring water near an abandoned mine in Korea

Y. T. Kim, H. O. Yoon, C. Yoon, N. C. Woo

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The objectives of this study were to quantitatively estimate the distribution of arsenic with its speciation and to identify potential pathways for transformation of arsenic species from samples of water, sediments, and plants in the ecosystem affected by the Cheongog Spring, where As(V) concentration reached levels up to 0.270 mg L -1. After flowing about 100 m downstream, the arsenic level showed a marked reduction to 0.044 mg L -1 (about 84% removal) without noticeable changes in major water chemistry. The field study and laboratory hydroponic experiments with the dominant emergent plants along the creek (water dropwort and thunbergian smartweed) indicated that arsenic distribution, reduction, and speciation appear to be controlled by, (i) sorption onto stream sediments in exchangeable fractions, (ii) bioaccumulation by and possible release from emergent plants, and (iii) transformation of As(V) to As(III) and organic species through biological activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3495-3501
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate the valuable comments on this article from anonymous reviewers and Dr. Claudia Wiegand, the Associate Editor of the Environmental Pollution. This research was carried as a part of the Ph.D. dissertation work of Youn-Tae Kim, Yonsei University. Financial support was provided by the Korea Research Foundation Grant from Korea Government (MOEHRD, Basic Research Promotion Fund KRF-2005-C00081), the research fund from the Korea Basic Science Institute (N27051), and the second stage of Brain Korea 21.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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