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Arsenic speciation and trace element analysis of the volcanic río Agrio and the geothermal waters of Copahue, Argentina.

Farnfield, HR, Marcilla, AL and Ward, NI (2012) Arsenic speciation and trace element analysis of the volcanic río Agrio and the geothermal waters of Copahue, Argentina. Sci Total Environ, 433. pp. 371-378.

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Surface water originating from the Copahue volcano crater-lake was analysed for total arsenic and four arsenic species: arsenite (iAs(III)), arsenate (iAs(V)), monomethylarsonic acid (MA(V)) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA(V)) and other trace elements (Fe, Mn, V, Cr, Ni, Zn). A novel in-field technique for the preconcentration and separation of four arsenic species was, for the first time, used for the analysis of geothermal and volcanic waters. Total arsenic levels along the río Agrio ranged from <0.2-3783 μg/l As(T). The highest arsenic levels were recorded in the el Vertedero spring (3783 μg/l As(T)) on the flank of the Copahue volcano, which feeds the acidic río Agrio. Arsenite (H(3)AsO(3)) predominated along the upper río Agrio (78.9-81.2% iAs(III)) but the species distribution changed at lago Caviahue and arsenate (H(2)AsO(4)(-)) became the main species (51.4-61.4% iAs(V)) up until Salto del Agrio. The change in arsenic species is potentially a result of an increase in redox potential and the formation of iron-based precipitates. Arsenic speciation showed a statistically significant correlation with redox potential (r=0.9697, P=0.01). Both total arsenic and arsenic speciation displayed a statistically significant correlation with vanadium levels along the river (r=0.9961, P=0.01 and r=0.8488, P=0.05, respectively). This study highlights that chemical speciation analysis of volcanic waters is important in providing ideas on potential chemical toxicity. Furthermore there is a need for further work evaluating how arsenic (and other trace elements), released in volcanic and geothermal streams/vents, impacts on both biota and humans (via exposure in thermal pools or consuming commercial drinking water).

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Farnfield, HR
Marcilla, AL
Date : 1 September 2012
DOI : 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.05.098
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 12:29
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 22:21

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