Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2016Peer reviewed

Distribution and geochemical speciation of soil mercury in Wanshan Hg mine: Effects of cultivation

Yin, Runsheng; Gu, Chunhao; Feng, Xinbin; Hurley, James P.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Lepak, Ryan F.; Zhu, Wei; Zheng, Lirong; Hu, Tiandou


The distribution and speciation of mercury (Hg) were investigated in contaminated soils collected from two adjacent land use systems (arid land and rice paddy) near the Wanshan Mercury mine, SW China. In both sites, fine soil aggregate size fractions (<231 mu m) showed higher total Hg concentrations and higher soil organic matter contents than in larger aggregate size fractions (231 to 2000 mu m). Compared to arid land, paddy soils are characterized by higher proportions of fine soil aggregates, higher soil organic matter and higher total Hg content. Soil Hg speciation, based on X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES) analysis, indicated that the majority (64-81%) of Hg in soils under both land use systems was associated with metacinnabar (beta-HgS), indicating the precipitation of beta-HgS in soils. We also observed the presence of bioavailable HgCl2 and Hg(0) in soils at both sites, which may represent a considerable environmental concern. Our study clearly showed that different cultivation practices can largely change the distribution and speciation of Hg in agriculture soils. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Mercury; Soil; Distribution; Speciation; XANES; Cultivation

Published in

2016, Volume: 272, pages: 32-38 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)