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Fractionation of heavy metals and assessment of contamination of the sediments of Lake Titicaca
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. (KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group)
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2013 (English)In: Environmental Monitoring & Assessment, ISSN 0167-6369, E-ISSN 1573-2959, Vol. 185, no 12, 9979-9994 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Chemical weathering is one of the major geochemical processes that control the mobilization of heavy metals. The present study provides the first report on heavy metal fractionation in sediments (8-156 m) of Lake Titicaca (3,820 m a.s.l.), which is shared by the Republic of Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Both contents of total Cu, Fe, Ni, Co, Mn, Cd, Pb, and Zn and also the fractionation of these heavy metals associated with four different fractions have been determined following the BCR scheme. The principal component analysis suggests that Co, Ni, and Cd can be attributed to natural sources related to the mineralized geological formations. Moreover, the sources of Cu, Fe, and Mn are effluents and wastes generated from mining activities, while Pb and Zn also suggest that their common source is associated to mining activities. According to the Risk Assessment Code, there is a moderate to high risk related to Zn, Pb, Cd, Mn, Co, and Ni mobilization and/or remobilization from the bottom sediment to the water column. Furthermore, the Geoaccumulation Index and the Enrichment Factor reveal that Zn, Pb, and Cd are enriched in the sediments. The results suggest that the effluents from various traditional mining waste sites in both countries are the main source of heavy metal contamination in the sediments of Lake Titicaca.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 185, no 12, 9979-9994 p.
Keyword [en]
Enrichment factor, Heavy metals, Lake Titicaca, Sediments, Sequential extraction, Risk Assessment Code
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-137455DOI: 10.1007/s10661-013-3306-0ISI: 000326397900025ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84890120754OAI: diva2:679907

QC 20131217

Available from: 2013-12-17 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2014-05-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Geochemistry of Trace Elements in the Bolivian Altiplano: Effects of natural processes and anthropogenic activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geochemistry of Trace Elements in the Bolivian Altiplano: Effects of natural processes and anthropogenic activities
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The occurrence of As in groundwater in Argentina was known since 1917; however, the occurrence, distribution and mobilization of As and other trace elements (TEs) in groundwater in the Bolivian Altiplano are still quite unknown. An investigation applying a geochemical approach was conducted in the Poopó Basin and Lake Titicaca to understand processes of TEs in different systems such as water, soils, crops and sediments in mining areas.

In Poopó Basin,As, Cd and Mn concentrations exceed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and Bolivian regulations for drinking water in different places around the basin, but Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn do not.

In soils, the sequential extraction methods extracted up to 12% (fractions 1 and 2), which represent < 3.1 mg/kg of the total As content, as potentially mobilized fractions, that could be transferred to crops and/or dissolved in hydrologic system. The large pool of As can be attached due to amorphous and crystalline Fe oxide surfaces (fractions 3, 4, and 5) present in the soils.

Furthermore, the concentrations of As, Cd and Pb in the edible part of the crops revealed that the concentrations of As and Cd do not exceed the international regulation (FAO, WHO, EC, Chilean) (0.50 mg/kgfw for As and 0.10 mg/kgfw for Cd), while Pb exceeds the international regulations for beans and potatoes (for beans 0.20 mg/kgfw and for potato 0.10 mg/kgfw).

In the Lake Titicaca, principal component analysis (PCA) of TEs in sediments suggests that the Co-Ni-Cd association can be attributed to natural sources such as rock mineralization, while Cu-Fe-Mn come from effluents and mining activities, whereas Pb-Zn are mainly related to mining activities. The Risk Assessment Code (RAC) indicate “moderately to high risk” for mobilization of Cd, Co, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn, while Cu and Fe indicate “low to moderate risk” for remobilization in the water column.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. x, 56 p.
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2014:04
Arsenic; Bolivian Altiplano; Eastern Cordillera; Trace elements; Surface water and shallow groundwater; Soils and crops.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-145537 (URN)978-91-7595-177-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-04, Sal V1, Teknikringen 76, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Hydrochemistry: Arsenic and heavy metals in the Lake Poopó Basin (Sida contribution: 7500707606)Catchment Management and Mining Impacts in Arid and semi-arid South America (CAMINAR) (INCO-CT-2006-032539)
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 7500707606

QC 20140604

Available from: 2014-05-23 Created: 2014-05-21 Last updated: 2014-05-23Bibliographically approved

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