The kinetics of carbonate and Mn oxide dissolution under acidic conditions were examined through the in situ exposure of pure phase samples to acidic ground water in Pinal Creek Basin, Arizona. The average long-term calculated in situ dissolution rates for calcite and dolomite were 1.65??10-7 and 3.64??10-10 mmol/(cm2 s), respectively, which were about 3 orders of magnitude slower than rates derived in laboratory experiments by other investigators. Application of both in situ and lab-derived calcite and dolomite dissolution rates to equilibrium reactive transport simulations of a column experiment did not improve the fit to measured outflow chemistry: at the spatial and temporal scales of the column experiment, the use of an equilibrium model adequately simulated carbonate dissolution in the column. Pyrolusite (MnO2) exposed to acidic ground water for 595 days increased slightly in weight despite thermodynamic conditions that favored dissolution. This result might be related to a recent finding by another investigator that the reductive dissolution of pyrolusite is accompanied by the precipitation of a mixed Mn-Fe oxide species. In PHREEQC reactive transport simulations, the incorporation of Mn kinetics improved the fit between observed and simulated behavior at the column and field scales, although the column-fitted rate for Mn-oxide dissolution was about 4 orders of magnitude greater than the field-fitted rate. Remaining differences between observed and simulated contaminant transport trends at the Pinal Creek site were likely related to factors other than the Mn oxide dissolution rate, such as the concentration of Fe oxide surface sites available for adsorption, the effects of competition among dissolved species for available surface sites, or reactions not included in the model.
Additional publication details
Kinetic dissolution of carbonates and Mn oxides in acidic water: Measurement of in situ field rates and reactive transport modeling