Suspended particulate matter determines physical speciation of Fe, Mn, and trace metals in surface waters of Loire watershed

  • Mohamed BaaloushaEmail author
  • Serge Stoll
  • Mikaël Motelica-Heino
  • Nathalie Guigues
  • Gilles Braibant
  • Frédéric Huneau
  • Philippe Le CoustumerEmail author
Analytical methods for characterization of nano- and micro-objects


This study investigates the spatiotemporal variability of major and trace elements, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved solids (TDS), and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in surface waters of several hydrosystems of the Loire River watershed in France. In particular, this study aims to delineate the impact of the abovementioned water physicochemical parameters on natural iron and manganese physical speciation (homoaggregation/heteroaggregation) among fine colloidal and dissolved (< 10 nm), colloidal (10–450 nm) and particulate (> 450 nm) phases in Loire River watershed. Results show that the chemistry of the Loire River watershed is controlled by two end members: magmatic and metamorphic petrographic context on the upper part of the watershed; and sedimentary rocks for the middle and low part of the Loire. The percentage of particulate Fe and Mn increased downstream concurrent with the increase in SPM and major cations concentration, whereas the percentage of colloidal Fe and Mn decreased downstream. Transmission electron microscopy analyses of the colloidal and particulate fractions (from the non-filtered water sample) revealed that heteroaggregation of Fe and Mn rich natural nanoparticles and natural organic matter to the particulate phase is the dominant mechanism. The heteroaggregation controls the partitioning of Fe and Mn in the different fractions, potentially due to the increase in the ionic strength, and divalent cations concentration downstream, and SPM concentration. These findings imply that SPM concentration plays an important role in controlling the fate and behavior of Fe and Mn in various sized fractions.

Graphical abstract

Physical speciation by heteroaggregation of (Fe-Mn) compounds: high [SPM] → [Fe-Mn] particulate faction; low {SPM] → [Fe-Mn] colloid-dissolved fraction.


Natural iron and manganese Suspended particle matter Natural nanoparticles Colloids Physical speciation Hetero-aggregation Surface waters Loire River watershed 



Thanks to BRGM who supported (financial, technically) this research, and we address special salutations at A-M. Fouillac who helped us by a financial support dedicated to sampling campaign and laboratory analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Environmental Nanoscience and Risk, Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Faculté des Sciences, Institut ForelUniversité de Genève, Uni VogtGenèveSwitzerland
  3. 3.ISTOUMR 7327 CNRS-Université d’Orléansd’OrléansFrance
  4. 4.LNEParisFrance
  5. 5.BRGMOrléansFrance
  6. 6.Faculté des Sciences et TechniquesUniversité de Corse Pascal PaoliCorteFrance
  7. 7.CNRS UMR 6134 SPE, Laboratoire d’HydrogéologieCorteFrance
  8. 8.UMR5254 IPREM/, Technopôle HélioparcCNRS-Université de Pau et des Pays de l’AdourPau cédex09France
  9. 9.ENSEGIDUniversité Bordeaux Montaigne EA 4592 Géoressources & EnvironnementPessacFrance
  10. 10.UF Sciences de la Terre & de l’Environnement B.18Université de BordeauxPessac CedexFrance

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