Novel Insights into the Distribution of Reduced Sulfur Species in Prairie Pothole Wetland Pore Waters Provided by Bismuth Film Electrodes

Brandon C. McAdams, Rachel M. Adams, William A. Arnold, Yu Ping Chin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mercury/gold amalgam and bismuth film electrodes (BiFEs) were used to make the first centimeter-scale measurements of redox species in benthic pore waters of prairie pothole wetlands across a hydrologic gradient. Sulfide in pore waters increased across this system from negligible sulfide in hydrologically up-gradient recharge wetlands to thousands of micromolar in down-gradient discharge wetlands. Field measurements of sulfides using the BiFE were tested against an established colorimetric assay. Sulfide measured with the BiFE agreed well with colorimetric measurements but is not subject to analytical artifacts associated with methods needed to extract the pore waters. Use of Hg/Au and BiFE electrodes should allow for rapid in situ detection of redox active species, especially sulfide concentrations of >500 μM, in pore waters over seasonal to decadal time scales. Such measurements are needed to understand important biogeochemical and environmental processes such as carbon cycling and contaminant attenuation tied to sulfur dynamics in these important ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 2016

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