Geochemical processes controlling mobilization of arsenic and trace elements in shallow aquifers in mining regions, Bolivian Altiplano

Ramos Ramos, O. E. and Quino, I. and Quintanilla, J. and Bhattacharya, P. and Bundschuh, J. (2014) Geochemical processes controlling mobilization of arsenic and trace elements in shallow aquifers in mining regions, Bolivian Altiplano. In: 5th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment (As 2014): One Century of the Discovery of Arsenicosis in Latin America (1914-2014), 11-16 May 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


A geochemical approach was applied to understand the factors controlling the mobilization of As and trace elements (TEs) in these mining areas. A total of 30 samples (wells and geothermal water) were collected during the rainy season (2009). As, Cd and Mn concentrations exceed WHO drinking guidelines in some groundwater samples, but Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn do not. Factor analysis of the groundwater chemical data suggests the following geochemical processes: i) plagioclase weathering, ii) dissolution of gypsum and halite, iii) trace element mobilization at acidic pH, iv) sulphide oxidation, and v) release of As following competition with phosphate and bicarbonate for adsorption sites. 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.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. Chapter 82
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2016 06:30
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 05:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aquifers; Arsenic; Groundwater resources; Hydrochemistry; Hydrogeology; Lead; Water management; Bolivian Altiplano; Geochemical approaches; Geochemical process; Geothermal water; Mn concentrations; Shallow aquifers; Sulphide oxidation; Waterresource management
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology
09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090410 Water Treatment Processes
03 Chemical Sciences > 0399 Other Chemical Sciences > 039901 Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961103 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (excl. Urban and Industrial Use)

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