Distribution and hydrogeochemical behavior of arsenic enriched groundwater in the sedimentary aquifer comparison between Datong Basin (China) and Kushtia District (Bangladesh)
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A prompt growth in research on arsenic occurrence and behavior in the environment has occurred over the last decade or so. High arsenic (As) in groundwater has become a major global concern due to its widespread occurrence. A comparative hydrogeochemical study was performed on the occurrence of high As groundwater in Datong Basin, China, and Kushtia District, Bangladesh. A total of 132 groundwater samples (83 from Datong Basin and 49 from Kushtia District) were collected to analyze the major hydrogeochemical components and trace elements in groundwater of both areas. Factor analysis (FA) was applied on the hydrochemical data to identify the major hydrogeochemical processes in sedimentary aquifers. High As groundwater was observed in the low-lying central parts of Datong Basin, which are composed of the Holocene alluvial and lacustrine aquifers. The elevated As concentrations ranged from 0.31 to 452 μg/L and distributed in depths between 20 and 45 m. As-enriched groundwater is mainly Na-HCO3 type water and characterized by higher pH value, high Na+, low Ca2+, SO42−, and NO3− along with moderate TDS. The alkaline and reducing subsurface environment facilitate the leaching of As in sedimentary aquifers. The release and distribution of As in aquifers are resulted from the reduction of As-carrying crystalline iron (Fe) oxide/hydroxides and oxidation of organic matter. The aquifers of Kushtia District, Bangladesh, are unconsolidated, alluvial in nature, and developed from Holocene floodplain and Pleistocene deposits. High As (6.04–590.7 μg/L) groundwater occurs mainly in shallow aquifers. The Ca-HCO3 type groundwater is distinguished by circum-neutral pH, medium-high EC, high HCO3−, and low content of NO3−, SO42−, K+, and Cl−. The reductive suspension of MnOOH increases the dissolved As loads and redox responsive elements such as SO42− and pyrite oxidation act as the main mechanisms for As release in groundwater. As is mobilized by anaerobic leakage from the brown-clay and gray-sand into the sediment. Infiltration from irrigation return and surface wash water are the potential factors that remobilize As. The weak loading of Fe suggests that the release of Fe and As is decoupled in sedimentary aquifers of Kushtia District.
KeywordsFactor analysis High arsenic groundwater Geochemical process Reducing condition
The research work was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No. 41521001 and No. 40802058) and the 111 Program (State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs & the Ministry of Education of China, grant B18049).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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