Geological Sources of As in the Environment of Greece: A Review

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Abstract

Abstract

This review summarizes the existing data about the geological sources of As in Greece; their variety and the relevant concentrations make Greece a peculiar territory to generalize and better understand the methodology for their assessment. These sources concern As-containing ores in active and abandoned mining areas, geothermal/hydrothermal waters, lignites in exploited and unexploited deposits, As-minerals in various rock types such as metamorphic rocks, and mineral dust originating in Sahara desert. It is considered that As release from the above sources, in conjunction with various anthropogenic As fluxes, occasionally creates distinct areas with contaminated groundwater, soils, marine and atmospheric environment. In general, Greece has been reported as a global As “hot spot” and it is argued that a significant amount of the Hellenic population might be affected by As pollution. The most important and permanent As source seems to be geothermal/hydrothermal fluids, due to faults and volcanic activity, affecting the underground, surface, and marine aquatic environment.

Graphical Abstract