Original paper

Multimetallic contamination from Zn-ore smelter: solid speciation and potential mobility in riverine floodbank soils of the upper Lot River (SW France)

Sivry, Yann; Munoz, Marguerite; Sappin-Didier, Valérie; Riotte, Jean; Denaix, Laurence; De Parseval, Philippe; Destrigneville, Christine; Dupré, Bernard


The former Zn-ore smelting activity in Viviez (Aveyron, France) resulted in multimetallic contamination of the upper Lot River system (SW France). This study addresses for the first time the metals/metalloids mobility in impacted riverside fluvial soils due to reducing conditions during long-term flooding events. Six impacted riverside fluvio-soils were sampled along the Riou Mort and Lot rivers. Their levels of contamination decrease with the distance from the contamination source. Higher enrichment factors (EF) relative to French average soil metallic content occur 1 km far from the contamination source and vary from 3 for Sn, to 5 for As, 9 for Sb, 27 for Pb, 40 for Zn and 63 for Cd. At 20 km downstream from the contamination source, EF still reach a value of 3 for Cd and Zn. A micro-physical mineralogical characterisation of contaminated soils revealed a variety of metal-bearing phases: metallic compounds, oxides and sulphides, Fe oxides, glass and silicates as well as coke. Sequential chemical extraction experiments were conducted on the most contaminated soil in order to identify which mineral phases were the best candidates to release metals/metalloids. At the end of experiments more than 70 % of total Cd and As, 55 % of Zn and Sb, and 40 % of Pb and Sn were extracted from the soil. Only Cd appeared as readily mobilised, with 33 % of its total amount being extracted in the first steps of experiments. Under reducing conditions, iron oxyhydroxides, franklinite and multimetallic oxides are the best candidates, in decreasing order of importance, for metals/metalloids release from the soil.


contaminated soilsmetallurgic phasescadmiumleadarseniczinctinantimonymobilityreducing conditions