Plate tectonics influence on geogenic arsenic cycling: from primary sources to global groundwater enrichment

Mukherjee, Abhijit and Gupta, Saibal and Coomar, Poulomee and Fryar, Alan E. and Guillot, Stephane and Verma, Swati and Bhattacharya, Prosun and Bundschuh, Jochen and Charlet, Laurent (2019) Plate tectonics influence on geogenic arsenic cycling: from primary sources to global groundwater enrichment. Science of the Total Environment, 683. pp. 793-807. ISSN 0048-9697

Abstract

More than 100 million people around the world are endangered by geogenic arsenic (As)in groundwater, residing in sedimentary aquifers. However, not all sedimentary aquifers are groundwater As enriched, and the ultimate source of As in enriched aquifer sediments is yet-unknown, globally. A reconnaissance of the major aquifers suggests that major As enriched aquifers are predictably systematic on a global scale, existing in sedimentary foreland basins in the vicinity of modern or ancient orogenic systems. In conformity with the Principle of Uniformitarianism, we demonstrate that the groundwater As comes from magmatic arcs (primary source)in present (e.g. Andes)or ancient (e.g. Himalaya)continental convergent margins of some of the most prominent orogenic systems across the globe, and ends up in sediments (secondary source)in adjoining foreland or related basins that eventually act as aquifers. These arc magmas scavenge As while rising through the deep continental crust. Erosion of such orogens ultimately increases the bulk As content in sediments of adjoining basins, leading to groundwater As enrichment in downstream aquifers. Such As-polluted aquifers are eventually extensively used for groundwater exploitation, for drinking and other human purposes. Surface geological and biogeochemical processes, like redox reactions, are conducive to such groundwater As enrichment. We suggest this model by integrating our study of long-time observations in Himalayan and Andean basin aquifers, and generalizing 63 major aquifers across the globe, to demonstrate the source-to-sink transport of As, thereby delineating it's geogenic cycling in the subsurface. This work outlines the specifics of the mechanisms that would drive the processes of groundwater As enrichment across spatio-temporal scales, i.e. tectonic-scale taking place over millions of years on continental-scale and groundwater pollution taking place at human time-scales on village to household scale. Thus, in this work, we demonstrate a direct evidence of connectivity between global geological processes and individual human health.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2020 04:31
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 01:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: arsenic, groundwater, health, orogeny, magma
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health
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)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.255
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38015

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