Arsenic mobility in the amended mine tailings and its impact on soil enzyme activity

Namin Koo, Sang Hwan Lee, Jeong Gyu Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The objectives of this study were to elucidate the effects of soil amendments [Ferrous sulfate (Fe II), red mud, Fe II with calcium carbonate (Fe II/L) or red mud (RM/F), zero-valent iron (ZVI), furnace slag, spent mushroom waste and by-product fertilizer] on arsenic (As) stabilization and to establish relationships between soil properties, As fractions and soil enzyme activities in amended As-rich gold mine tailings (Kangwon and Keumkey). Following the application of amendments, a sequential extraction test and evaluation of the soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase) were conducted. Weak and negative relationships were observed between water-soluble As fractions (As WS) and oxalate extractable iron, while As WS was mainly affected by dissolved organic carbon in alkaline tailings sample (Kangwon) and by soil pH in acidic tailings sample (Keumkey). The soil enzyme activities in both tailings were mainly associated with As WS. Principal component and multiple regression analyses confirmed that As WS was the most important factor to soil enzyme activities. However, with some of the treatments in Keumkey, contrary results were observed due to increased water-soluble heavy metals and carbon sources. In conclusion, our results suggest that to simultaneously achieve decreased As WS and increased soil enzyme activities, Kangwon tailings should be amended with Fe II, Fe II/L or ZVI, while only ZVI or RM/F would be suitable for Keumkey tailings. Despite the limitations of specific soil samples, this result can be expected to provide useful information on developing a successful remediation strategy of As-contaminated soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-348
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental geochemistry and health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was financially supported by grant as ‘‘the Fundamental Investigation on Environment of the Han River’’ to J. G. Kim from the Korea Ministry of Environment and partly by a grant from Korea University.


  • Arsenic
  • Multiple regression analysis
  • Principal component analysis
  • Soil amendment
  • Soil enzyme activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Arsenic mobility in the amended mine tailings and its impact on soil enzyme activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this