An impacted soil located near an industrial waste site in the Massif Central near Auzon, France, where arsenical pesticides were manufactured, has been studied in order to determine the speciation (chemical forms) of arsenic as a function of soil depth. Bulk As concentrations range from 8780 mg kg(-1) in the topsoil horizon to 150 mg kg(-1) at 60 cm depth. As ores (orpiment As2S3, realgar AsS, arsenopyrite FeAsS) and former Pb- and Al-arsenate pesticides have been identified by XRD at the site and are suspected to be the sources of As contamination for this soil. As speciation was found to vary with depth, based on XRD, SEM-EDS, EPMA measurements and selective chemical extractions. Based on oxalate extraction, As is mainly associated with amorphous Fe oxides through the soil profile, except in the topsoil horizons where As is hosted by another phase. SEM-EDS and EPMA analyses led to the identification of arseniosiderite (Ca2Fe33+((AsO4)-O-V)(3)O-2 center dot 3H(2)O), a secondary mineral that forms upon oxidation of primary As-bearing minerals like arsenopyrite, in these topsoil horizons. These mineralogical and chemical results were confirmed by synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy. XANES spectra of soil samples indicate that As occurs exclusively as As(V), and EXAFS results yield direct evidence of changes in As speciation with depth. Linear combination fits of EXAFS spectra of soil samples with those of various model compounds indicate that As occurs mainly As-bearing Fe(III)-(hydr)oxides (65%) and arseniosiderite (35%) in the topsoil horizon (0-5 cm depth). Similar analyses also revealed that there is very little arseniosiderite below 15 cm depth and that AsM is associated primarily with amorphous Fe oxides below this depth. This vertical change of As speciation likely reflects a series of chemical reactions downward in the soil profile. Arseniosiderite, formed most likely by oxidation of arsenopyrite, is progressively dissolved and replaced by less soluble As-bearing poorly ordered Fe oxides, which are the main hosts for As in well aerated soils. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.