Arsenic Geochemistry in the Alluvial Aquifers of West Bengal, India: Implications for targeting safe aquifers for sustainable drinking water supply
2013 (Estonian)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The natural occurrences of high (>10 μg/L) dissolved arsenic (As) in groundwater of Bengal Basin has put millions of people under the threat of chronic As exposure through drinking water. Present study has examined the processes that regulate As mobilization and its distribution in shallow aquifers and the potentiality of finding safe aquifers within shallow depth (<50 m) for drinking water supply. The results indicate that in terms of aquifer sediment colors and water quality two types of aquifer namely brown sand aquifer (BSA) and grey sand aquifer (GSA) can be distinguished within the depth, accessible by low-cost drilling. The redox condition in the BSA is delineated to be Mn oxyhydroxides reducing, not sufficiently lowered for As mobilization resulting in high Mn and low Fe and As in groundwater. While in GSA, currently the reductive dissolution of Fe oxyhydroxides is the prevailing redox process causing As mobilization into groundwater of this aquifer type. It is revealed that the vertical distribution of As and other aqueous redox parameters is related to the redox zonation within aquifer. The decoupling of As and Fe release into groundwater is evident in the shallowest part of aquifer because of Fe enrichment by weathering of silicate minerals especially of biotite, the precipitation of secondary mineral phases like siderite and vivianite and incomplete reduction of Fe oxyhydroxides. It is characterized that the seasonal variations of As and other aqueous solutes are limited within the upper portion of aquifer only (<30 m bgl) and can be related to seasonal cycling of redox status, aggregation and dispersion of As scavenging colloids, local groundwater abstraction and monsoonal recharge. The results of surface complexation modeling indicate that PO43- is the major competitor of As(III) and As(V) adsorption onto Fe oxyhydroxides. This study concludes that the reductive dissolution of Fe oxyhydroxides followed by competitive sorption reactions with the aquifer sediment is the process conducive for As enrichment in groundwater of Bengal Basin. Present study advocates that despite low concentration of As in groundwater, a rigorous assessment of attendant health risk for Mn is necessary prior to considering mass scale exploitation of the BSA for sustainable drinking water supply. This study also validates that TW platform colors can be used as a rapid screening tool for As and Mn in drinking water wells to prioritize As mitigation management.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , xii, 71 p.
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1071
Bengal Basin; Groundwater; Arsenic; Redox processes; Competing ions; Sustainable drinking water Supply
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-128938ISBN: 978-91-7501-849-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-128938DiVA: diva2:648944
2013-09-23, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Charlet, Laurent, Professor
FunderMistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, 2005-035-137
QC 201309192013-09-192013-09-172013-09-27Bibliographically approved
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