Distribution, salinity and pH dependence of elements in surface waters of the catchment areas of the Salars of Coipasa and Uyuni, Bolivian Altiplano

Banks, D. , Markland, H., Smith, P.V., Mendez, C., Rodriguez, J., Huerta, A. and Sæther, O.M. (2004) Distribution, salinity and pH dependence of elements in surface waters of the catchment areas of the Salars of Coipasa and Uyuni, Bolivian Altiplano. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 84(3), pp. 141-166. (doi:10.1016/j.gexplo.2004.07.001)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

The variation in concentrations of a wide variety of hydrochemical parameters in surface watercourses of the Bolivian Altiplano is statistically characterised. A variation of four to five orders of magnitude is characteristic for several parameters (Al, As, B, Cd, Cl−, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Na, S, and SO42−), reflecting (i) evapoconcentration between mountainous watersheds and saline desert evaporative sinks, and (ii) geologically varied sources such as volcanic/thermal springs, fumarolic sulphur deposits and widespread sulphide mineralization. A tendency to increasing salinity from catchment headwaters to the salars is observed. pH values are generally rather high (median 8.3), and exhibit a similar, but weaker increasing trend. Arsenic concentrations are high (median=34 μg/l) and are probably largely derived from volcanogenic sources (fumarolic native sulphur deposits and thermal springs) on the Andean Cordillera Occidental. Arsenic exhibits positive correlations with pH and salinity, indicating its mobility as an oxy-anion under the generally high pH conditions and its susceptibility to evapoconcentration. Arsenic appears to be only weakly attenuated relative to chloride, probably by adsorption onto iron hydroxide precipitates or flocs.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banks, Mr David
Authors: Banks, D., Markland, H., Smith, P.V., Mendez, C., Rodriguez, J., Huerta, A., and Sæther, O.M.
Subjects:Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Journal of Geochemical Exploration
ISSN:0375-6742
Published Online:11 September 2004

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record