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Seasonal and spatial variation of arsenic in groundwater in a rhyolithic volcanic area of Lesvos Island, Greece

Abstract

A survey conducted in water wells located in the rhyolithic volcanic area of Mandamados, Lesvos Island, Greece, indicated that significant seasonal variation of arsenic concentration in groundwater exists mainly in wells near the coastal zone. However, there were differences among those coastal wells with regard to the processes and factors responsible for the observed seasonal variability of the element, although they are all located in a small homogeneous area. These processes and factors include (a) a higher rate of silicate weathering and ion exchange during the dry period followed by the dilution by the recharge water during the wet period, (b) enhanced desorption promoted by higher pH in summer and subsequent dilution of As by rainwater infiltration during the wet period, and (c) reductive dissolution of Mn during the wet period and by desorption under high pH values during the dry period. On the other hand, in wells located in higher-relief regions, the concentration of As in groundwater followed a fairly constant pattern throughout the year, which is probably related to the faster flow of groundwater in this part of the area due to a higher hydraulic gradient. In general, seasonal variation of As in groundwater in the study area was found to be related to geology, recharge rate, topography—distance from coast, and well depth.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their support and comments that improved the original manuscript.

Funding

E. Zkeri would like to thank the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (I.K.Y.) for funding this research.

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Correspondence to Eirini Zkeri.

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Zkeri, E., Aloupi, M. & Gaganis, P. Seasonal and spatial variation of arsenic in groundwater in a rhyolithic volcanic area of Lesvos Island, Greece. Environ Monit Assess 190, 44 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-017-6395-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-017-6395-3

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Groundwater
  • Seasonal variation
  • Spatial variation
  • Volcanic rocks
  • Greece