, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 309–329 | Cite as

Dissolution of wollastonite during the experimental manipulation of Hubbard Brook Watershed 1

  • Stephen C. Peters
  • Joel D. Blum
  • Charles T. Driscoll
  • Gene E. Likens


Powdered and pelletized wollastonite (CaSiO3) was applied to an 11.8 ha forested watershed at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) in northern New Hampshire, U.S.A. during October of 1999. The dissolution of wollastonite was studied using watershed solute mass balances, and a 87Sr/86Sr isotopic tracer. The wollastonite (87Sr/86Sr = 0.70554) that was deposited directly into the stream channel began to dissolve immediately, resulting in marked increases in stream water Ca concentrations and decreases in the 87Sr/86Sr ratios from pre-application values of 0.872 mg/L and 0.72032 to values of ∼2.6 mg/L and 0.71818 respectively. After one calendar year, 401 kg of the initial 631 kg of wollastonite applied to the stream channel was exported as stream dissolved load, and 230 kg remained within the stream channel as residual CaSiO3 and/or adsorbed on streambed exchange sites. Using previously established values for streambed Ca exchange capacity at the HBEF, the dissolution rate for wollastonite was found to be consistent with dissolution rates measured in laboratory experiments. Initially, Ca was released from the mineral lattice faster than Si, resulting in the development of a Ca-depleted leached layer on mineral grains. The degree of preferential Ca release decreased with time and reached stoichiometric proportions after ∼6 months. Using Sr as a proxy for Ca, the Ca from wollastonite dissolution can be accurately tracked as it is transported through the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of this watershed.


Dissolution Rate Exchange Capacity Terrestrial Ecosystem Stream Water Exchange Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bailey S.W., Hornbeck J.W., Driscoll C.T. and Gaudette H.E. 1996. Calcium inputs and transport in a base-poor forest ecosystem as interpreted by Sr isotopes. Water Resources Research 32: 707–719.Google Scholar
  2. Banfield J.F., Ferruzzi G.G., Casey W.H. and Westrich H.R. 1995. HRTEM study comparing naturally and experimentally weathered pyroxenoids. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59: 19–31.Google Scholar
  3. Berner R.A., Lasaga A.C. and Garrels R.M. 1983. The carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle and its effect on atmospheric carbon-dioxide over the past 100 million years. American Journal of Science 283: 641–683.Google Scholar
  4. Blum A.E. and Stillings L.L. 1995. Feldspar dissolution kinetics. In: White A.F. and Brantley S.L. (eds), Chemical Weathering Rates of Silicate Minerals. Vol. 31. Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 291–346.Google Scholar
  5. Blum J.D., Klaue A., Nezat C.A., Driscoll C.T., Johnson C.E., Siccama T.G. et al. 2002. Mycorrhizal weathering of apatite as an important Ca source in base-poor forest ecosystems. Nature 417: 729–731.Google Scholar
  6. Blum J.D., Taliaferro E.H., Weisse M.T. and Holmes R.T. 2000. Changes in Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca and 87Sr/86Sr ratios between trophic levels in two forest ecosystems in the northeastern USA. Biogeochemistry 49: 87–101.Google Scholar
  7. Capo R.C., Stewart B.W. and Chadwick O.A. 1998. Strontium isotopes as tracers of ecosystem processes: theory and methods. Geoderma 82: 197–225.Google Scholar
  8. Casey W.H., Banfield J.F., Westrich H.R. and McLaughlin L. 1993. What do dissolution experiments tell us about natural weathering. Chemical Geology 105: 1–15.Google Scholar
  9. Chamberlin T. 1899. An attempt to frame a working hypothesis of the cause of glacial periods on an atmospheric basis. Journal of Geology 7: 545–584.Google Scholar
  10. Cirmo C.P. and Driscoll C.T. 1996. The impacts of a watershed CaCO3 treatment on stream and wetland biogeochemistry in the Adirondack Mountains. Biogeochemistry 32: 265–297.Google Scholar
  11. Drever J.I. and Zobrist J. 1992. Chemical-weathering of silicate rocks as a function of elevation in the southern Swiss Alps. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 56: 3209–3216.Google Scholar
  12. Driscoll C.T., Cirmo C.P., Fahey T.J., Blette V.L., Bukaveckas P.A., Burns D.A. et al. 1996. The experimental watershed liming study: Comparison of lake and watershed neutralization strategies. Biogeochemistry 32: 143–174.Google Scholar
  13. Federer C.A., Flynn L.D., Martin C.W., Hornbeck J.W. and Pierce R.S. 1990. Thirty Years of Hydrometric Data at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. USDA General Technical Report NE-141.Google Scholar
  14. Gerdes M. and Valley J. 1994. Fluid flow and mass-transport at the Valentine wollastonite deposit, Adirondack Mountains, New York State. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 12: 589–608.Google Scholar
  15. Grove E.R., Beig M.S. and Luttge A. 2000. Wollastonite dissolution kinetics: temperature, pH dependence, and the formation of leached layers studied by VSI. In: Abstracts with Programs. Geological Society of America, Reno, NV, USA.Google Scholar
  16. Hall R.O., Macneale K.H., Bernhardt E.S., Field M. and Likens G.E. 2001. Biogeochemical responses of two forest streams to a 2-month calcium addition. Freshwater Biology 46: 291–302.Google Scholar
  17. Hogan J.D., Blum J.D. and Driscoll C.T. 2000. Concentration-discharge relationships during storm events at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. In: EOS, Transactions, San Francisco, (p F465). American Geophysical Union.Google Scholar
  18. Hyman M.E., Johnson C.E., Bailey S.W., April R.H. and Hornbeck J.J. 1998. Chemical weathering and cation loss in a base-poor watershed. Geological Society of America Bulletin 110: 85–95.Google Scholar
  19. Johnson C.E., Driscoll C.T., Siccama T.G. and Likens G.E. 2000. Element fluxes and landscape position in a northern hardwood forest watershed ecosystem.Ecosystems 3: 159–184.Google Scholar
  20. Johnson C.E., Johnson A.H., Huntington T.G. and Siccama T.G. 1991. Whole-tree clear-cutting effects on soil horizons and organic-matter pools. Soil Science Society of America Journal 55: 497–502.Google Scholar
  21. Johnson N.M., Driscoll C.T., Eaton J.S., Likens G.E. and McDowell W.H. 1981. “Acid rain”, dissolved aluminum and chemical weathering at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 45: 1421–1437.Google Scholar
  22. Johnson N.M., Likens G.E., Bormann F.H. and Pierce R.S. 1968. Rate of chemical weathering of silicate minerals in New Hampshire. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 32: 531–545.Google Scholar
  23. Kendall C. and MacDonnell J.J. 1998. Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology. Elsevier.Google Scholar
  24. Kump L.R., Brantley S.L. and Arthur M.A. 2000. Chemical, weathering, atmospheric CO2, and climate. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 28: 611–667.Google Scholar
  25. Likens G.E. and Bormann F.H. 1995. Biogeochemistry of a Forested Ecosystem. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, United States.Google Scholar
  26. Likens G.E., Driscoll C.T. and Buso D.C. 1996. Long-term effects of acid rain: Response and recovery of a forest ecosystem. Science 272: 244–246.Google Scholar
  27. Likens G.E., Driscoll C.T., Buso D.C., Siccama T.G., Johnson C.E., Lovett G.M. et al. 1998. The biogeochemistry of calcium at Hubbard Brook. Biogeochemistry (Dordrecht) 41: 89–173.Google Scholar
  28. Mast M.A., Drever J.I. and Baron J. 1990. Chemical-weathering in the Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky-Mountain-National-Park, Colorado. Water Resources Research 26: 2971–2978.Google Scholar
  29. Paces T. 1983. Rate constants of dissolution derived from the measurements of mass balance in hydrological catchments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 47: 1855–1863.Google Scholar
  30. Rimstidt J.D. and Dove P.M. 1986. Mineral solution reaction-rates in a mixed flow reactor-wollastonite hydrolysis. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 50: 2509–2516.Google Scholar
  31. Swoboda Colberg N.G. and Drever J.I. 1993. Mineral dissolution rates in plot-scale field and laboratory experiments. Chemical Geology 105:51–69.Google Scholar
  32. Velbel M.A. 1985. Geochemical mass balances and weathering rates in forested watersheds of the southern Blue Ridge. American Journal of Science 285: 904–930.Google Scholar
  33. Velbel M.A. 1993. Constancy of silicate mineral weathering-rate ratios between natural and experimental weathering-Implications for hydrologic control of differences in absolute rates. Chemical Geology 105: 89–99.Google Scholar
  34. Weissbart E.J. and Rimstidt J.D. 2000. Wollastonite: Incongruent dissolution and leached layer formation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 64: 4007–4016.Google Scholar
  35. Xie Z.X. and Walther J.V. 1994. Dissolution stoichiometry and adsorption of alkali and alkaline-earth elements to the acid-reacted wollastonite surface at 25 degrees C. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 58: 2587–2598.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen C. Peters
    • 1
  • Joel D. Blum
    • 1
  • Charles T. Driscoll
    • 2
  • Gene E. Likens
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA (e-mail
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Ecosystem StudiesMillbrookUSA

Personalised recommendations