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Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2022

Microbial diversity and geochemistry of groundwater impacted by steel slag leachates

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Abstract

To understand long-term impacts of steel slag material on aquifer geochemistry and microbial communities, we conducted four sampling campaigns in the Gier alluvial groundwater (Loire, France). In its northern part, the aquifer flows under a 200,000 m3 steel slag exhibiting high levels of chromium and molybdenum. Geochemical analyses of the water table revealed the existence of water masses with different chemical signatures. They allowed us to identify an area particularly contaminated by leachates from the slag heap, whatever the sampling period. Water samples from this area were compared to non-contaminated samples, with geochemical characteristics similar to the river samples. To follow changes in microbial communities, the V3-V4 region of 16 s rRNA gene was sequenced. Overall, we observed lower diversity indices in contaminated areas, with higher relative abundances of Verrucomicrobiota and Myxococcota phyla, while several Proteobacteria orders exhibited lower relative abundances. In particular, one single genus among the Verrucomicrobiota, Candidatus Omnitrophus, represented up to 36 % of total taxon abundance in areas affected by steel slag leachates. A large proportion of taxa identified in groundwater were also detected in the upstream river, indicating strong river-groundwater interactions. Our findings pave the way for future research work on C. Omnitrophus remediation capacities.
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Dates and versions

emse-03930561 , version 1 (09-01-2023)

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Margot Bärenstrauch, Audrey S Vanhove, Séverine Allegra, Steve Peuble, Frédéric Gallice, et al.. Microbial diversity and geochemistry of groundwater impacted by steel slag leachates. Science of the Total Environment, 2022, 843, pp.156987. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156987⟩. ⟨emse-03930561⟩
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