Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 99, Issue 1–4, pp 275–282 | Cite as

Selenium associations in estuarine sediments: Redox effects

  • Gregory M. Peters
  • William A. Maher
  • John P. Barford
  • Vincent G. Gomes
Role of Sediments in Element Cycles


Selenium (Se) is a contaminant of concern in environments affected by discharges from smelting and coal-burning industries. Experiments hate been performed to investigate the phase associations of selenium in contaminated sediments under a range of controlled redox conditions. In this study, Se sediment associations were examined using the BCR sequential extraction technique after stabilisation at different redox states. It was shown that although most of the sediment-bound Se is associated with the operationally-defined “organic sulfide” fraction, as the measured redox potential of the system is increased. more Se moves into the “exchangeable” and “iron manganese oxy hydroxide” fractions. In these fractions. contaminants can be expected to be more bioavailable. As the mass of Se absorbed to sediments is typically at least an order of magnitude higher than the mass dissolved in porewaters. significant Se exposure may result from oxidative shifts in Se associations.


selenium sediment estuaries sequential extraction redox potential 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory M. Peters
    • 1
  • William A. Maher
    • 2
  • John P. Barford
    • 1
  • Vincent G. Gomes
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied ScienceUniversity of CanberraBelconnenAustralia

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