Contrasting controls on hydrogeochemistry of arsenic-enriched groundwater in the homologous tectonic settings of Andean and Himalayan basin aquifers, Latin America and South Asia

Poulomee Coomar, Abhijit Mukherjee, Prosun Bhattacharya, Jochen Bundschuh, S. Verma, Alan E. Fryar, Oswaldo E. Ramos Ramos, Mauricio Ormachea Muñoz, Saibal Gupta, Chandan Mahanta, Israel Quino, R. Thunvik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

High groundwater arsenic (As) across the globe has been one of the most well researched environmental concerns during the last two decades. Consequently, a large scientific knowledge-base has been developed on As distributions from local to global scales. However, differences in bulk sediment As concentrations cannot account for the As concentration variability in groundwater. Instead, in general, only aquifers in sedimentary basins adjacent to mountain chains (orogenic foreland basins) along continental convergent tectonic margins are found to be As-enriched. We illustrate this association by integrating observations from long-term studies of two of the largest orogenic systems (i.e., As sources) and the aquifers in their associated foreland basins (As sinks), which are located in opposite hemispheres and experience distinct differences in climate and land-use patterns. The Andean orogenic system of South America (AB), an active continental margin, is in principle a modern analogue of the Himalayan orogenic system associated with the Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra river systems in South Asia (HB). In general, the differences in hydrogeochemistry between AB and HB groundwaters are conspicuous. Major-solute composition of the arid, oxic AB groundwater exhibits a mixed-ion hydrochemical facies dominated by Na-Ca-Cl-SO4-HCO3. Molar calculations and thermodynamic modeling show that although groundwater of AB is influenced by cation exchange, its hydrochemical evolution is predominated by feldspar dissolution and relationships with secondary clays. In contrast, humid, strongly reducing groundwater of HB is dominated by Ca-HCO3 facies, suggestive of calcite dissolution, along with some weathering of silicates (monosiallitization). This work demonstrates that although hydrogeochemical evolutionary trends may vary with local climate and lithology, the fundamental similarities in global tectonic settings can still lead to the elevated concentrations of groundwater As.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1370-1387
Number of pages18
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume689
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was partly financialy supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency [Sida Contribution: 7500707606 (2007-2013) and 75000553-06 ] as well as Swedish Strategic Research Council (MISTRA) Idea Support Grant ( 2005-035-137 ) to Prosun Bhattacharya at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Department of Science and Technology (DST, Govt. of India, Grant no. DST/TM/INDO-UK/2K17/55(C) & 55(G) ) to Abhijit Mukherjee and Minor Field Study Grants to Mattias Claesson and Jens Fagerberg (KTH, Sweden). The authors also acknowledge the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur , Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India , University of Kentucky , USA; KTH Royal Institute of Technology , Sweden; The Geological Society of America ; The University of Texas at Austin, USA; Public Health Engineering Department, Government of West Bengal ; Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacionalpara el Desarrollo, Spain . The authors would also like to thank editors E. Paoletti and M. I. Litter for editorial handling and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback.

Funding Information:
The work was partly financialy supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency [Sida Contribution: 7500707606 (2007-2013) and 75000553-06] as well as Swedish Strategic Research Council (MISTRA) Idea Support Grant (2005-035-137) to Prosun Bhattacharya at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Department of Science and Technology (DST, Govt. of India, Grant no. DST/TM/INDO-UK/2K17/55(C) & 55(G)) to Abhijit Mukherjee and Minor Field Study Grants to Mattias Claesson and Jens Fagerberg (KTH, Sweden). The authors also acknowledge the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India, University of Kentucky, USA; KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; The Geological Society of America; The University of Texas at Austin, USA; Public Health Engineering Department, Government of West Bengal; Agencia Espa?ola de Cooperaci?n Internacionalpara el Desarrollo, Spain. The authors would also like to thank editors E. Paoletti and M. I. Litter for editorial handling and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Groundwater
  • Hydrogeochemistry
  • Land-use pattern
  • Tectonism

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Contrasting controls on hydrogeochemistry of arsenic-enriched groundwater in the homologous tectonic settings of Andean and Himalayan basin aquifers, Latin America and South Asia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this