Biogeochemical zonation of sulfur during the discharge of groundwater to lake in desert plateau (Dakebo Lake, NW China)

Xiaosi Su, Geng Cui, Huang Wang, Zhenxue Dai, Nam Chil Woo, Wenzhen Yuan

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10 Citations (Scopus)


As one of the important elements of controlling the redox system within the hyporheic and hypolentic zone, sulfur is involved in a series of complex biogeochemical processes such as carbon cycle, water acidification, formation of iron and manganese minerals, redox processes of trace metal elements and a series of important ecological processes. Previous studies on biogeochemistry of the hyporheic and hypolentic zones mostly concentrated on nutrients of nitrogen and phosphorus, heavy metals and other pollutants. Systematic study of biogeochemical behavior of sulfur and its main controlling factors within the lake hypolentic zone is very urgent and important. In this paper, a typical desert plateau lake, Dakebo Lake in northwestern China, was taken for example within which redox zonation and biogeochemical characteristics of sulfur affected by hydrodynamic conditions were studied based on not only traditional hydrochemical analysis, but also environmental isotope evidence. In the lake hypolentic zone of the study area, due to the different hydrodynamic conditions, vertical profile of sulfur species and environmental parameters differ at the two sites of the lake (western side and center). Reduction of sulfate, deposition and oxidation of sulfide, dissolution and precipitation of sulfur-bearing minerals occurred are responded well to Eh, dissolved oxygen, pH, organic carbon and microorganism according to which the lake hypolentic zone can be divided into reduced zone containing H2S, reduced zone containing no H2S, transition zone and oxidized zone. The results of this study provide valuable insights for understanding sulfur conversion processes and sulfur biogeochemical zonation within a lake hypolentic zone in an extreme plateau arid environment and for protecting the lake–wetland ecosystem in arid and semiarid regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1066
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors would thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China for financially supporting this research under the project entitled ‘‘Research into the biogeochemical behavior of sulfur within desert plateau hypolentic zones’’ (Grant Number: 41073054). We would like to express our sincere thanks to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for the constructive and positive advice and comments which helped improve the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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