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(2020) Elevated Natural As in Surface Water Around the Guallatiri Volcano, Northern Chile

Inostroza M, Aguilera F, Tapia J, Sepulveda J & Tassi F


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13g: Room 4, View in program

Listed below are questions that have been submitted by the community that the author will try and cover in their presentation. To submit a question, ensure you are signed in to the website. Authors or session conveners approve questions before they are displayed here.

Submitted by Karen Hudson-Edwards on
In addition to evaluating the risks of As to the nearby population, it would also be useful to evaluate the risks of Tl and Sb. Do the concentrations of these elements exceed international guideline values?
Hello Karen. In the study area, the inhabitants extract surface water from the Captalia, Caullatiri and Patuias rivers, which have concentrations of As above the limit value for drinking water. However, high Sb contents were detected in the Patuias and Caullatiri rivers, reaching values ??by up to 0.038 mg/L (being 0.02 mg/L the limit value for drinking water; WHO 2011). Similarly, the Pb contents were slightly above the limit value. Unfortunately, we have no data on Tl concentrations. Further studies must be carried out in order to understand the origin, distribution and concentration of As and other harmful metal and metalloid elements in the area. Thanks for asking!

Submitted by Jesica Murray on
Dear Manuel, thank you very much for your beautiful presentation. I have a question related to the fumarolic vapors. You describe the high As and other metals content. Do you have any idea of the trajectory of this vapors once they reach the atmosphere? We were sampling rain water with high As and metals (like Pb) in the other side of the Andes. In Salta city, the origin of this was attributed to the metaliferous anomaly of the Altiplano-Puna, but now I see that this vapors can also be a source of metals and arsenic in the atmosphere.
Many thanks for your question Jesica. It is quite interesting that rain samples show high concentrations of As, Pb and other similar constituents. As you seen in our presentation, fumarolic emissions emit significant amounts of metal and metalloid elements, which are released in the gas and aerosol phase. Of these, volcanic gases of higher volatility and micron-size aerosols could reach can reach long distances depending on the prevailing wind in the area. In the Altiplano-Puna area, prevailing winds are heading east, however in the austral summer time, the winds are directed towards the west-northwest. In my opinion, if your rain sample was taken in fall, winter or spring time, it can be hipothetized a volcanogenic source of As and Pb in rain water. However, possible effects related to the antropogenic source of As and Pb must be considered, specifically those related to the mining activity in the Chilean side. We must to keep in touch and discuss this interesting phenomena. It is clear that further efforts must be carried out in order to evaluate the possible sources of As in the area. Thanks for asking!

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