Arsenic release from flooded paddy soils is influenced by speciation, Eh, pH, and iron dissolution

N. Yamaguchi, T. Nakamura, D. Dong, Y. Takahashi, S. Amachi, T. Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

282 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic (As) is highly mobilized when paddy soil is flooded, causing increased uptake of As by rice. We investigated factors controlling soil-to-solution partitioning of As under anaerobic conditions. Changes in As and iron (Fe) speciation due to flooded incubation of two paddy soils (soils A and B) were investigated by HPLC/ICP-MS and XANES. The flooded incubation resulted in a decrease in Eh, a rise in pH, and an increase in the As(III) fraction in the soil solid phase up to 80% of the total As in the soils. The solution-to-soil ratio of As(III) and As(V) (RL/S) increased with pH due to the flooded incubation. The RL/S for As(III) was higher than that for As(V), indicating that As(III) was more readily released from soil to solution than was As(V). Despite the small differences in As concentrations between the two soils, the amount of As dissolved by anaerobic incubation was lower in soil A. With the development of anaerobic conditions, Fe(II) remained in the soil solid phase as the secondary mineral siderite, and a smaller amount of Fe was dissolved from soil A than from soil B. The dissolution of Fe minerals rather than redox reaction of As(V) to As(III) explained the different dissolution amounts of As in the two paddy soils. Anaerobic incubation for 30d after the incomplete suppression of microbial activity caused a drop in Eh. However, this decline in Eh did not induce the transformation of As(V) to As(III) in either the soil solid or solution phases, and the dissolution of As was limited. Microbial activity was necessary for the reductive reaction of As(V) to As(III) even when Eh reached the condition necessary for the dominance of As(III). Ratios of released As to Fe from the soils were decreased with incubation time during both anaerobic incubation and abiotic dissolution by sodium ascorbate, suggesting that a larger amount of As was associated with an easily soluble fraction of Fe (hydr) oxide in amorphous phase and/or smaller particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-932
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May


  • Arsenic
  • Iron
  • Paddy soil
  • Reductive dissolution
  • Siderite


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