Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 157–168 | Cite as

Impact of acid sulfate soils on the geochemistry of rivers in south-western Finland

  • Maria E. Nyberg
  • Peter Österholm
  • Miriam I. Nystrand
Original Article


Large areas of acid sulfate (AS) soils are located along the coastal plains of Finland, and previous studies have shown that after reclamation they release extreme quantities of metals to watercourses in mid-western and northern Finland. In this study on streams of south-western Finland, where little information about AS soils is available, these soils were found to exhibit the same pattern of elevated metal- and sulfate concentrations as in the notorious AS soil landscapes of mid-western Finland. Meteorologically/hydrologically driven temporal variations of these elements were great in the most affected streams. There were also significant positive implications regarding future environmental work; AS soils in the highlighted region were found to cause sudden temporal influxes of acidic water only in the most affected streams, indicating that the overburden and soils of the area discharge well buffered water. Moreover, it was indicated that the high (less toxic) metal concentrations are largely caused by erosion of suspended phyllosilicates (<0.45 μm) from farmland rather than by AS soils.


Acid sulfate soils South-western Finland Hydrogeochemistry River Metals Acidity 



The authors are grateful for financial support from Renlunds Stiftelse, TE Centre for Southwestern Finland and Lounaissuomen ja Laitilan kalastusalue, Magnus Ehrnrooths Stiftelse, the Finnish Graduate School of Geology, Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi Forskningsinstitut, Svenska Kulturfonden and Maa- ja Vesitekniikan Tuki ry. The authors also acknowledge Leif Österholm and Gunnar Jacks for their help with the DOC and Tot-N analyses, respectively, Robert Sundström for his help with planning and sampling and Hanneke Helminen who helped with sampling and lab work, and Kari Ranta-Aho (TE Centre) and Arto Katajamäki (Lounaissuomen ja Laitilan kalastusalue) who initially encouraged us to conduct this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria E. Nyberg
    • 1
  • Peter Österholm
    • 1
  • Miriam I. Nystrand
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and MineralogyÅbo Akademi UniversityTurkuFinland

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