Ion Chromatography Analysis of Anions in Geochemical Studies
It never ceases to surprise and amaze me the vast spread of applications for our chromatography instruments, in particular Ion Chromatography (IC) systems. Here are three fascinating applications: two on studying anions in water under the Earth's surface and one studying anions in the volcanic plumes from an active volcano!
Study 1: Anion Analysis of the Vadose Zone
The Vadose Zone, as per Wikipedia, "is the part of Earth between the land surface and the top of the phreatic zone i.e. the position at which the groundwater (the water in the soil's pores) is at atmospheric pressure ("vadose" is Latin for "shallow"). Hence the vadose zone extends from the top of the ground surface to the water table."
Vadose zone water and its movement is studied and monitored because the water is used for agriculture, contaminants seeping into the ground accumulate in the water, and for flood control purposes.
This United States study published in the Vadose Zone Journal is titled, Geochemical and Geophysical Changes during Ammonia Gas Treatment of Vadose Zone Sediments for Uranium Remediation, (link to article; only abstract is free) and uses one of our lower-end IC systems (Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS 2000 system) to measure the following anions: fluoride, chloride, bromate, sulphate, and nitrate.
The study concludes that ammonia gas "treatment of contaminated sediment acts to decrease the highly mobile aqueous and adsorbed U by incorporation into precipitates and appears to decrease mobility of some existing U precipitates (Na-boltwoodite) as a result of mineral coating."
Also, wanted to mention that the analysis of common anions in environmental water samples is one of the most frequently used applications of our IC systems and among the EPA, ASTM, and ISO methods that use the IC technique, the U.S. EPA Method 300.0 (Part A) and 300.1 (Part A) are among the most-referenced IC methods.
Study 2: Anion Analysis of Groundwater Recharge
This Duke University study, titled, A Global Analysis of Groundwater Recharge for Vegetation, Climate, and Soils, (link to full free PDF) focused on increasing understanding on how vegetation impacts recharging of groundwater. The study compiles "a new global synthesis of groundwater recharge rates and data for different climates, soils, and vegetation
types to understand how different vegetation types affect recharge."
The researchers took soil samples from 14 sites in Argentina and the South West United States and analyzed the samples using the same lower-end IC systems (Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS 2000 system) as in the above study for the following anions: chloride, bromate, sulphate, nitrate, and phosphate.
As per the researchers, "The results of this study highlight the implications of land-use management for sustainable groundwater use and should also help test and improve recharge estimates in large-scale water balance and climate models."
Study 3: Anion Analysis of Volcanic Emissions
Researchers from New Zealand, Germany, United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom recently published this study on the Monowai volcano located north of New Zealand, titled, Submarine Magmatic-Hydrothermal Systems at the Monowai Volcanic Center, Kermadec Arc, (only the abstract is free) in the Economic Geology journal.
In this experiment, the researchers used one of our lower-end IC systems to compare anions (chloride, bromate, sulphate, sodium, potassium, and nitrate) from samples taken from several hydrothermal plumes on the volcano caldera and cones, and concluded that "We believe the Monowai volcanic center is host to a robust magmatic-hydrothermal system, with significant differences in the style and composition of venting at the cone and caldera sites."
Also, if you are looking for more analytical solutions on monitoring groundwater, check out our webpages for analytical applications for Anions, Perchlorate, Cations, Selenium and Arsenic, Cyanide and Metal Cyanide, Pesticides and Herbicides, Metals, Uranium and Thorium, Acid Rain, and Emerging Contaminants.
Let us know in the Comments box if you are looking for a specific application: our experts will be pleased to consider your request.