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Biogeochemical Cycle of Lanthanides in a Light Rare Earth Element-Enriched Geological Area (Quebec, Canada)

Abstract : This work investigated a rare earth element (REE) natural biogeochemical cycle in an area with a light rare earth element (LREE)-rich ferrocarbonatite intrusion. An REE determination in this geological environment allowed us to trace REE natural transfers in order to better manage future REE mining exploitations. Our findings suggest that although REE concentrations in abiotic compartments (soil and freshwater systems) and biotic samples (terrestrial and aquatic plants) were low, the LREE fractionation observed in the parent material was maintained along compartments. Additionally, Nd anomalies observed in the sediment pore water suggest a potential different biogeochemical cycle of this element in aquatic systems. According to the potential bioaccumulation of REEs in the organisms of two studied plants belonging to terrestrial and aquatic compartments, Equisetum arvense L. and Typha latifolia L. (respectively), we observed that REEs were not accumulated and that they showed limited REE transfer inside plants, but with an increased uptake of Eu relative to the other REEs. Our results indicated a low mobility and transfer of REEs from REE-rich bedrocks in a natural area toward terrestrial and freshwater systems, but also pointed to a dilution of the REE content in the different compartments, maintaining the LREE fractionation. Our findings provide new knowledge about the REE biochemical cycle in a natural area (from rocks to plants) and represent a starting point for an environmentally friendly exploitation of future REE mining areas.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 5:28:22 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 3:38:05 PM
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Ana Romero-Freire, Francois Turlin, Anne-Sylvie André-Mayer, Mia Pelletier, Alain Cayer, et al.. Biogeochemical Cycle of Lanthanides in a Light Rare Earth Element-Enriched Geological Area (Quebec, Canada). Minerals, 2019, 9 (10), pp.573. ⟨10.3390/min9100573⟩. ⟨hal-03163406⟩



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