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Natural Decrease of Dissolved Arsenic in a Small Stream Receiving Drainages of Abandoned Silver Mines in Guanajuato, Mexico


Arsenic release from the abandoned mines and its fate in a local stream were studied. Physicochemical parameters, metals/metalloids and arsenic species were determined. One of the mine drainages was found as a point source of contamination with 309 μg L−1 of dissolved arsenic; this concentration declined rapidly to 10.5 μg L−1 about 2 km downstream. Data analysis confirmed that oxidation of As(III) released from the primary sulfide minerals was favored by the increase of pH and oxidation reduction potential; the results obtained in multivariate approach indicated that self-purification of water was due to association of As(V) with secondary solid phase containing Fe, Mn, Ca.

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The financial support from National Council of Science and Technology, Mexico (CONACYT), Project 178553, is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Katarzyna Wrobel.

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Arroyo, Y.R.R., Muñoz, A.H.S., Barrientos, E.Y. et al. Natural Decrease of Dissolved Arsenic in a Small Stream Receiving Drainages of Abandoned Silver Mines in Guanajuato, Mexico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 91, 539–544 (2013).

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  • Mine drainage
  • Arsenic
  • Natural attenuation of dissolved arsenic
  • Multivariate analysis