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

  • Platon Gamaletsos
  • Athanasios Godelitsas
  • Elissavet Dotsika
  • Evangelos Tzamos
  • Jörg Göttlicher
  • Anestis Filippidis
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 40)


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


Arsenic Geothermal Greece Minerals Ores Volcanoes 



Back-arc basin


Megalopolis lignite center


Mid-ocean ridge


Ptolemais-amynteon lignite center


South aegean active volcanic arc


Soil and water assessment tool


Upper continental crust



We would like to kindly thank Prof. Thomas J. Walsh, MD (Professor of Medicine in Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College, USA) for critical reading and fruitful comments on the manuscript. We also thank Assist. Prof. Panagiotis Voudouris (Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, University of Athens, Greece) for critical discussion and comments concerning As-minerals in Lavrion historical mines and Perama Hill epithermal Au–Ag deposit (Thrace).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Platon Gamaletsos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Athanasios Godelitsas
    • 1
  • Elissavet Dotsika
    • 3
  • Evangelos Tzamos
    • 4
  • Jörg Göttlicher
    • 2
  • Anestis Filippidis
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Geology & GeoenvironmentUniversity of AthensZographouGreece
  2. 2.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, ANKA Synchrotron Radiation FacilityEggenstein-LeopoldshafenGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Material Science, NCRS “Demokritos”AttikiGreece
  4. 4.Department of GeologyAristotle UniversityThessalonikiGreece

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