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Arsenic in groundwater of the Bengal Delta Plain: a detailed case study on a local hotspot

Wagner, Frank; Berner, Zsolt; Stüben, Doris


This study aims on the detailed characterization of the hydro- and geochemical environment of a local As hot-spot, in order to put constrains on the source, availability and mechanism of As release into the groundwater. A small area (40 km2) was selected in the Malda district (West Bengal, India) to carry out two sampling campaigns in March 2002 and 2003. Sampling comprises groundwater and sediment samples up to 60 m depth.
With arsenic concentrations of more than 800 µg/L, the groundwater in the working area can be ranked as highly polluted. The comparison of the sampling in 2002 and 2003 has shown both, constant and slightly increased As-concentrations. Distribution of anorganic As(III) and As(V) species shows domination of the more toxic As(III), representing in average 76% (2002) and 86% (2003) of the total As content. This is in agreement with a gradual release of As under reducing conditions.
The main hot spot is close to two old river channels, which may favor the development of a reducing environment due to possibly increased content of clay minerals and organic matter in the aquifer. Correlation of As and Fe in water suggests the dissolution of As-bearing iron phases as one possible mobilisation mechanism. ... mehr

Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Fakultät für Bauingenieur-, Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften – Institut für Mineralogie und Geochemie (IMG)
Publikationstyp Proceedingsbeitrag
Publikationsjahr 2004
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator KITopen-ID: 1000009752
Erschienen in Precongress workshop BW06, 32nd IGC, 18.-19.8.04 Florence, abstracts. Vol. 2
Verlag Florence
Seiten 1483
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