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Open-File Report 2007–1022

In cooperation with the Geological Survey of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Water Development Board

Compositional Data for Bengal Delta Sediment Collected from a Borehole at Rajoir, Bangladesh

By George N. Breit, James C. Yount, Md. Nehal Uddin, Ad. Atual Muneem, Heather A. Lowers, Cyrus J. Berry, and John W. Whitney

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Processes active within sediment of the Bengal basin have attracted world concern because of the locally high content of arsenic dissolved in ground water drawn from that sediment. Sediment samples were collected from a borehole in the town of Rajoir, Rajoir upazila, Madaripur district, Bangladesh, to investigate the processes contributing to arsenic contamination. The samples were mineralogically and chemically analyzed to determine compositional variations related to the arsenic content of the sediment. Mineralogy of the sediment was determined using powder X-ray diffraction. Bulk chemical composition was measured by Combustion; Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy; Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence; and Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. Sediment was treated with 0.5 N HCl and resulting solutions were analyzed, primarily to evaluate the abundance and oxidation state of acid-soluble iron. Acid-volatile sulfide, acid-soluble sulfate, and reducible sulfide were also measured on a few samples. Sediment sampled at Rajoir is typically unlithified, gray, micaceous, feldspathic arenaceous sand with a few silt and clay layers. Arsenic content of the sediment ranges from 0.6 to 21 ppm with a median of 1.2 ppm.

Version 1.0

Posted February 2007

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