Rare earth element concentrations in dissolved and acid available particulate forms for eastern UK rivers
Abstract. Variations in concentration of yttrium (Y), lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), neodymium (Nd), samarium (Sm) and gadolinium (Gd) among rivers of eastern England and the border with Scotland are described in relation to the dissolved (<0.45 µM) fraction and acid-available particulate (AAP) fractions. The rivers cover a range of rural, agricultural and urban/industrial environments. Yttrium and the lanthanides show significant levels of both dissolved and acid-available particulate forms (typically about 40% in the dissolved form). For the dissolved phase, Y and the lanthanides are linearly correlated with each other and with iron: most of this dissolved component may be in a micro-particulate/colloidal form. The Y and lanthanide relationships show marked scatter and there are anomalously high La concentrations at times for the rivers Great Ouse, Thames and Wear that are probably linked to pollutant sources. For the Ouse, and especially for one of its tributaries, the Swale, relatively high Sm concentrations are probably associated with mineralisation within the catchment and contamination of the associated flood plain. For the AAP components, there are strong linear relationships with Y and the lanthanides across all the rivers. There is also a strong link between these AAP associated REE and AAP iron, although the scatter is greater and the industrial rivers have a lower lanthanide to iron ratio, probably due to iron-rich contaminants.