Arsenic in New England: Mineralogical and geochemical studies of sources and enrichment pathways

Open-File Report 2002-454
By:  and 



Detailed mineralogical, geochemical and radiogenic isotopic studies of iron-sulfide and secondary iron oxy-hydroxide minerals in natural bedrock in coastal Maine and New Hampshire test the link between arsenic-rich sulfide minerals in bedrock and secondary oxy-hydroxide minerals. Samples were selected from over 70 bedrock localities, including 22 within the regionally extensive and sulfide-mineral-rich Penobscot Formation and 10 associated with mineral deposits from coastal New Hampshire and Maine, and coupled with data from drill core collected at several sites including areas where well waters contain anomalous As abundances (e.g., Northport, ME). The data were used to establish a diversity of primary and secondary mineralogical hosts for arsenic in bedrock of this part of New England. The studies show that bedrock mineralogy is critical to contributing arsenic to groundwater and suggest a number of mineralogical pathways for arsenic that define weathering processes. The studies show that lead isotopic compositions of the sulfides and iron oxy-hydroxides overlap and establish a genetic link between the sulfides and secondary minerals. The data and interpretive results were presented at Arsenic in New England -- A multidisciplinary Scientific Conference, Manchester, New Hampshire, May 29-31, 2002, sponsored by the New Hampshire Consortium on Arsenic, are available in abstract and poster (full size = 84 by 36 inch sheet) formats.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Arsenic in New England: Mineralogical and geochemical studies of sources and enrichment pathways
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2002-454
DOI 10.3133/ofr02454
Edition Version 1.0
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description Online Only
Country United States
State Maine, New Hampshire
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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