Selenium mobilization in soils due to volcanic derived acid-rain: an example from Mt Etna volcano, Sicily

Alessandro Aiuppa, Sergio Calabrese, Floor, Calabrese, Román-Ross, Aiuppa, D́Alessandro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The significant amounts of selenium (Se) emitted by volcanoes may have important impact on human health due to the narrow range between nutrition requirement and toxic effects for living organisms upon Se exposure. Although soils play a key role in determining the level in food and water and thereby human health, little is known about the behaviour of Se in volcanic soils. In this work we evaluated the Se release during rainwater–soil interaction under controlled conditions using soils collected on the flanks of Etna volcano and synthetic rain. Selenium concentrations in soil leachate solutions displayed a spatial distribution, which cannot be explained by plume deposition, total Se soil concentrations or the presence of Fe oxides. Instead, Al compounds and to a minor extent SOM were identified as the active phases controlling the selenate mobilization during interaction with sulphate-containing rainwater. This shows the importance of soils as reactive interfaces. Selenium is mobilized when volcanic-derived acid rain interacts with poorly developed soils close to the crater. This geogenic process might influence the chemical composition of groundwater and as a result, human health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Selenium mobilization in soils due to volcanic derived acid-rain: an example from Mt Etna volcano, Sicily'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this