Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 4839–4851 | Cite as

Characterization of authigenic carbonates from Huoshaogang landfill, Guangzhou, China: implication for microbial metabolism

  • Junxi Feng
  • Duofu Chen
Original Article


Authigenic carbonates from a landfill leachate collection system (LCS) resulting from early diagenesis mediated by microbes, are unique archives of the biogeochemical processes and environmental conditions inducing the carbonate formation. This paper reports the results of mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical studies of the carbonates collected from the LCS of Huoshaogang landfill in Guangzhou, China. The carbonates from the LCS pipes and the equalization basins occurred as laminated crusts and porous precipitates, respectively. The authigenic minerals consist mainly of low- and high-Mg calcites. Sedimentary fabrics likely linked with microbial metabolism are developed, including stromatolites, ooids, clots, peloids, botryoidal cements, and framboidal pyrites. In addition, putative microbial textures, including spheres, filaments, and rods, are preserved in the carbonates. The δ13C and δ18O values of the carbonates range from +7.34 to +18.21 ‰ and from −8.64 to −4.76 ‰ (V-PDB), respectively, indicating that the carbon is derived mainly from the residual CO2 after methanogenesis, and the oxygen is predominantly from meteoric waters. The Ce/Ce* values of carbonate phases revised by eliminating La effects demonstrate no or positive Ce anomalies, suggesting that the carbonates were precipitated in a reducing environment. The bacterial degradation of waste organic matter to CH4 and CO2 would significantly increase the alkalinity and pH of leachate and decrease the content of SO4 2−, and thus promote calcite crystal nucleation on the surface of microbial cells and subsequent precipitation under reducing conditions. The occurrence of high-Mg calcite precipitating later with incremental δ13C values implies the increasing trend of Mg/Ca ratios and δ13C values of dissolved inorganic carbon in the leachate during stabilization of the closed landfill.


Authigenic carbonate Landfill Leachate Microbe 



This study was supported by GIGCAS 135 project Y234021001. The authors are grateful to K. Miao, senior engineer of Urban Administration Bureau of Panyu District, for sample collection; and J.M. Wei, W.F. Deng, S.H. Zhang, and L. Qi (all CAS) for help with the analyses of the samples. Furthermore, the authors wish to thank D. Feng and T.H. Peng (all CAS) for their helpful comments on revising this manuscript. Finally, the authors thank Prof. James W. LaMoreaux and the anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments that greatly improved the manuscript. This is the contribution no. IS-2025 from GIGCAS.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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