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  • 1.
    Aullón Alcaine, Anna
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Geochemistry and Ecotechnology.
    Bhattacharya, Prosun
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Geochemistry and Ecotechnology.
    Jacks, Gunnar
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Geochemistry and Ecotechnology.
    Schulz, C.
    Universidad Nacional de la Pampa, Argentina.
    Bundschuh, Jochen
    University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
    Thunvik, Roger
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Physics.
    Mörth, Carl-Magnus
    Stockholms Universitet, Institutionen för geologiska vetenskaper.
    Geogenic arsenic and fluoride in shallow aquifers of northeastern La Pampa, Argentina: mobility constraints2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 2.
    Aullón Alcaine, Anna
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Sandhi, Arifin
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Bhattacharya, Prosun
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Jacks, Gunnar
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Bundschuh, Jochen
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Thunvik, Roger
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Schulz, C.
    Mörth, C. M.
    Distribution and mobility of geogenic arsenic in the shallow aquifers of the northeast of La Pampa, Argentina2012In: Understanding the Geological and Medical Interface of Arsenic, As 2012 - 4th International Congress: Arsenic in the Environment, 2012, p. 132-134Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Groundwater contamination with elevated Arsenic (As) and other toxic trace elements has been studied in the central part of the vast Chaco-Pampean Plain, in the city of Quemú Quemú, northeastern La Pampa, Argentina. The groundwater samples were mostly alkaline with pH ranging up to 9.18, oxidizing and characterized by high EC. The concentration of total As (5.58-535 μg/L) and fluoride (0.5-14.2 mg/L) in some samples exceeded the recommended WHO drinking water guideline and the Argentine national drinking water standard. Arsenic was positively correlated with bicarbonate (HCO 3 -), Boron (B), Fluoride (F) and Vanadium (V). Long-term consumption of the groundwater could pose a severe health threat for the local community.

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