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Magnetic susceptibility as a proxy for investigating microbially mediated iron reduction

January 1, 2011

We investigated magnetic susceptibility (MS) variations in hydrocarbon contaminated sediments. Our objective was to determine if MS can be used as an intrinsic bioremediation indicator due to the activity of iron-reducing bacteria. A contaminated and an uncontaminated core were retrieved from a site contaminated with crude oil near Bemidji, Minnesota and subsampled for MS measurements. The contaminated core revealed enriched MS zones within the hydrocarbon smear zone, which is related to iron-reduction coupled to oxidation of hydrocarbon compounds and the vadose zone, which is coincident with a zone of methane depletion suggesting aerobic or anaerobic oxidation of methane is coupled to iron-reduction. The latter has significant implications for methane cycling. We conclude that MS can serve as a proxy for intrinsic bioremediation due to the activity of iron-reducing bacteria iron-reducing bacteria and for the application of geophysics to iron cycling studies. 

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Magnetic susceptibility as a proxy for investigating microbially mediated iron reduction
DOI 10.1029/2011GL049271
Authors F.M. Mewafy, E.A. Atekwana, D.D. Werkema, L.D. Slater, D. Ntarlagiannis, A. Revil, M. Skold, Geoffrey N. Delin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Research Letters
Series Number
Index ID 70035179
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

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