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Geochemical processes controlling mobilization of arsenic and trace elements in shallow aquifers and surface waters in the Antequera and Poopó mining regions, Bolivian Altiplano
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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2014 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 518, no C, 421-433 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A geochemical approach was applied to understand the factors controlling the mobilization of As and trace elements (TEs) in mining areas of the Poopó and Antequera River sub-basins on the Bolivian Altiplano. A total of 52 samples (surface, groundwater and geothermal water) were collected during the rainy season (2009). Arsenic, Cd and Mn concentrations exceed World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water guidelines and Bolivian regulations for drinking water in 28 groundwater samples, but Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn do not. Arsenic, Cd, Mn, Pb and Zn concentrations exceed World Health Organization guidelines for drinking water and Bolivian regulations Class A standard for discharge to water bodies in 20 surface water samples, whereas levels of Cu do not, and Ni and Fe rarely exceed regulation and guideline values. Factor analysis was applied to 18 hydrochemical parameters of 52 samples. Five factors for groundwater (plagioclase weathering, dissolution of gypsum and halite, TEs mobilization at acidic pH, sulfide oxidation, and release of As) account for 86.5% of the total variance for Antequera and 83.9% for Poopó sub-basins. Four factors for surface water data (weathering and mobilization of TEs influenced by pH, dissolution of evaporate salts, neutralization of acid mine drainage, and As release due to dissolution of Mn and Fe oxides) account for 91% of the total variance in Antequera and 96% in Poopó sub-basins. The As and TEs mobilized in these regions could affect the local water sources, which is a prevalent concern with respect to water resource management in this semi-arid Altiplano region. Presence of both natural and anthropogenic sources of contamination requires careful monitoring of water quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 518, no C, 421-433 p.
Keyword [en]
Arsenic, Bolivian Altiplano, Groundwater, Poopó basin, Surface water, Trace elements
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-145629DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.08.019ISI: 000345061200012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84908193817OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-145629DiVA: diva2:719248
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 7500707606
Note

QC 20150114. Updated from manuscript to article in journal.

Available from: 2014-05-23 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically 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.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2014:04
Keyword
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
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
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)
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 7500707606
Note

QC 20140604

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

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