Sand-size aggregates of vivianite crystals occur in the uppermost sediments of the Potomac River estuary immediately downstream from the outfall of a sewage treatment plant at the southernmost boundary of the District of Columbia, USA. They are most abundant in a small area of coarse sand (dredge spoil) which contrasts with the adjacent, much finer sediments. The sewage outfall supplies both reducing conditions and abundant phosphate. Analyses and calculations indicate that the pore waters in all the adjacent sediments are supersaturated with respect to vivianite. Its concentration in the coarse sand is attributed to the absence there of amorphous ferric oxyhydroxides, which are present in the finer sediments and preferentially absorb the phosphate ion. -H.R.B.
Additional publication details
Authigenic vivianite in Potomac River sediments: control by ferric oxy-hydroxides.