Geogenic arsenic and fluoride in shallow aquifers of northeastern La Pampa, Argentina: mobility constraints
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
High concentrations of geogenic arsenic (As) and fluoride (F-) in groundwater have been reported at elevated concentrations in different parts of the Chaco-Pampean Plain, in Argentina, where more than 2 million people may be exposed to high levels of these toxic elements through drinking water. Groundwater from the shallow aquifer is far exceeding the permissible WHO Standard limits of 10 μg/L for As and 1.5 mg/L for fluoride, as well as the Argentinean Standard limit of 50 μg/L for As. Geogenic As results due to the weathering of ash originated by volcanic eruptions from the Andean Cordillera and transported by wind and deposited along with the sediments and also as discrete layers and lenses over large geographical area containing around 90% of rhyolitic glass. Groundwater is hosted in a sandy silty interconnected system of aquifers and aquitards within the The Pampean aquifer. A total of 44 groundwater samples were collected from the shallow aquifers in NE of La Pampa province. Two rural areas covering an area of 600km2 in Quemú Quemú (QQ) and 300km2 in Intendente Alvear (IA) were investigated in the present study. Groundwater was circum-neutral to alkaline (pH 7.43-9.18), predominantly oxidizing (Eh ~0.24 V) with widely variable EC range (456-11,400 μS/cm). The major cation dissolved in groundwater was Na+, while the predominant anions were HCO3-, Cl- and SO42-, respectively. Water type in QQ was mostly Na-HCO3- while in IA, the composition differed between Na-HCO3- and Na-Cl-SO42- water types. Groundwater composition showed high degree of mineralization and high salinity evidenced by high EC. In discharge areas, high evaporation rates result in high salinity of shallow groundwater and visible salts incrustations on the surface of the lakes. Elevated concentrations of NO3- and PO43- observed in some wells indicated possible anthropogenic contamination. Total As concentration in groundwater from QQ ranged from 5.58 to 535 μg/L, where 94% of the wells exceeded the WHO standard limit for safe drinking water of 10 μg/L, and 56% of the wells exceeded the old Argentine standard limit of 50 μg/L. F- concentrations revealed heterogeneity and high concentrations in some wells (0.5-14.2 mg/L), 78% of samples in QQ study area exceeded the WHO standard limit of 1.5 mg/L. Under oxidizing conditions and neutral to alkaline pH, arsenate (AsV) species predominated, mainly in HAsO42- forms. As "hotspots" indicated locally contamination and correlated positively with F-, HCO3-, B and V and showed negative correlation with salinity, dissolved Fe, Al and Mn. The mechanisms involved in the mobilization of As in the shallow aquifers are controlled by the rise of pH, variations in Eh conditions and the presence of competitor ions (HCO3-, PO43-, Si, V oxyanions). Geochemical processes like adsorption/desorption, precipitation/dissolution and redox reactions may trigger to As mobilization in the shallow aquifers of La Pampa region.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Athens, Georgia, 2013.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124507OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-124507DiVA: diva2:635903
12th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements (ICOBTE), June 16-20, Athens, USA
QC 201502042013-07-072013-07-072015-02-04Bibliographically approved