Geothermal As from Yellowstone National Park causes high As concentrations (10-370 ??g/L) in the Madison and Missouri Rivers in Montana and Wyoming. Arsenic transport is largely conservative in the upper basin as demonstrated by the near equivalence of dissolved and total-recoverable As concentrations, the constancy of As loads, and consistent ratios of concentrations of As to conservative geothermal tracers. Diurnal cycling of As between aqueous and solid phases in response to pH-induced changes in sorption equilibria causes small variations of about 10-20% in-dissolved As concentrations. HCl-extractable As concentrations in river and lake sediment in the upper basin are variable depending on position relative to the As-rich headwaters and geochemical and physical processes associated with lakes. In the lower Missouri River, large quantities of suspended sediment from tributaries provide sufficient sorption sites for substantial conversion of As from the aqueous phase to the solid phase.
Additional Publication Details
The fate of geothermal arsenic in the Madison and Missouri Rivers, Montana and Wyoming