Spatial dependency of arsenic, antimony, boron and other trace elements in the shallow groundwater systems of the Lower Katari Basin, Bolivian Altiplano

Israel Quino-Lima, Oswaldo Ramos-Ramos, Mauricio Ormachea-Muñoz, Jorge Quintanilla-Aguirre, Celine Duwig, Jyoti Prakash Maity, Ondra Sracek, Prosun Bhattacharya

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41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spatial patterns, cluster or dispersion trends are statistically different from random patterns of trace elements (TEs), which are essential to recognize, e.g., how they are distributed and change their behavior in different environmental processes and/or in the polluted/contaminated areas caused by urban and industrial pollutant located in upstream basins and/or by different natural geological conditions. The present study focused on a statistical approach to obtain the spatial variability of TEs (As, B and Sb) in shallow groundwater (GW) in a high-altitude arid region (Lower Katari Basin, Bolivian Altiplano), using multivariate analysis (PCA and HCA), geochemical modeling (PHREEQC, MINTEQ) and spatial analyses (Moran's I and LISA), considering the community supply wells. The results indicate that despite of the outliers there is a good autocorrelation in all cases, since Moran's I values are positive. The global spatial dependence analysis indicated a positive and statistically significant spatial autocorrelation (SA) for all cases and TEs are not randomly distributed at 99% confidence level. The results of hydrochemical modeling suggested the precipitation and stability of Fe (III) phases such as goethite. The re-adsorption of As and Sb on the mineral surface in the aquifer could be limiting the concentrations of both metalloids in southern regions. Spatial autocorrelation was positive (High-High) in northwestern (arsenic), southeastern (boron) and northeastern (antimony) region. The results reflected that the As and Sb are the main pollutants linked to the natural geological conditions, but B is a main pollutant due to the anthropogenic activities. Furthermore, >50% shallow groundwater exceeded the WHO limit and NB-512 guideline values for Sb (87%), B (56%) and As (50%); therefore the spatial distribution and concentrations of these TEs in GW raise a significant concern about drinking water quality in the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137505
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume719
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support of this research by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida Contribution: 75000553) is gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank the researchers Raul Quispe for analysis of anions in the laboratory, Efrain Blanco and Edson Chalco for their fieldwork at the Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, as well as Hermenegildo Fernández for field support. In addition, we acknowledge the anonymous reviewers and the Editor Elena Paoletti for all their insightful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript.

Funding Information:
The financial support of this research by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida Contribution: 75000553 ) is gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank the researchers Raul Quispe for analysis of anions in the laboratory, Efrain Blanco and Edson Chalco for their fieldwork at the Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, as well as Hermenegildo Fernández for field support. In addition, we acknowledge the anonymous reviewers and the Editor Elena Paoletti for all their insightful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Bolivia
  • Groundwater
  • Hydrochemistry
  • Lower Katari Basin
  • Spatial variability
  • Trace elements

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