Assessment of arsenic mobility in a shallow aquifer from Bevera Valley Basin (Northern Italy)

  • Giuseppe SappaEmail author
  • Maurizio Barbieri
  • Francesca Andrei
  • Flavia Ferranti
Original Paper


Elevated levels of arsenic (As) have been reported from clay peat and silt aquifer systems in the Bevera Valley Basin, Northern Italy. A sampling survey was carried out on 17 monitoring boreholes completed in the bedrock aquifer. All collected samples were analyzed for major ion concentrations and trace element chemistry. Parameters like pH, temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), and redox potential (Eh) were also measured in situ using digital instruments. Geochemical analyses reveal that groundwater contains high As concentrations, reaching up to 666.5 μg/l, over the Italian threshold (Legislative Decree 152/2006). Then, conventional graphical plots and geochemical modeling techniques were applied to evaluate the geochemistry of As and other trace elements and the mechanisms of their release in groundwater, verifying if high concentrations are due to natural or anthropogenic origin. This study aims to investigate groundwater aquifers in order to define sources and mechanism involved in As release from aquifer sediments and study the relationship with iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) concentrations.

Graphical abstract


Geogenic Arsenic Groundwater Peat levels Anoxic and reducing conditions Fe and Mn reductive dissolution 



The authors would like to express their appreciation to ITALFERR S.p.A. for providing the dataset.

Author contributions

All of the authors contributed extensively to the work. Conceptualization, G.S. and M.B.; methodology, M.B. and F.A.; data curation, F.A. and F.F.; writing and original draft preparation, G.S., M.B., and F.A.; writing and review and editing, F.A. and F.F.; supervision, G.S.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Sappa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maurizio Barbieri
    • 2
  • Francesca Andrei
    • 1
  • Flavia Ferranti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering (DICEA)Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Earth Sciences (DST)Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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