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Hydrochemical characteristics of groundwater and surface water in the mining region of Antequera and Poopó, Eastern Cordillera, Bolivian Altiplano
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-145627OAI: diva2:719226

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-05-23 Created: 2014-05-23 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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Ramos Ramos, Oswaldo EduardoBundschuh, JochenBhattacharya, Prosun
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