Geochemical processes controlling mobilization of arsenic and trace elements in shallow aquifers and surface waters in the Antequera and Poopo mining regions, Bolivian Altiplano

Ramos Ramos, Oswaldo Eduardo and Rotting, Tobias S. and French, Megan and Sracek, Ondra and Bundschuh, Jochen and Quintanilla, Jorge and Bhattacharya, Prosun (2014) Geochemical processes controlling mobilization of arsenic and trace elements in shallow aquifers and surface waters in the Antequera and Poopo mining regions, Bolivian Altiplano. Journal of Hydrology, 518 (C). pp. 421-433. ISSN 0022-1694

Abstract

A geochemical approach was applied to understand the factors controlling the mobilization of As and trace elements (TEs) in mining areas of the Poopo 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 Poopo 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 Poopo 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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 04:47
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2016 06:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: arsenic; Bolivian Altiplano; groundwater; Poopo basin; surface water; trace elements
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040608 Surfacewater Hydrology
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090508 Water Quality Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960908 Mining Land and Water Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.08.019
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26801

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