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Dissolved arsenic in the upper Paraguay River basin and Pantanal wetlands.

Richter, Larissa; Hernández, Amauris Hechavarría; Pessôa, Gustavo S; Arruda, Marco Aurelio Zezzi; Rezende-Filho, Ary T; de Almeida, Rafael Bartimann; Menezes, Hebert A; Valles, Vincent; Barbiero, Laurent; Fostier, Anne Hélène.
Sci Total Environ; 687: 917-928, 2019 Oct 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31412495
Although high levels of dissolved arsenic were detected in surface and ground waters of Nhecolândia, a sub-region of the vast Pantanal wetlands in Brazil, the possible sources have not been clearly identified and the potential release from the wetland to the draining rivers has not been investigated. In this study we measured the dissolved As content in all the rivers and small streams that supply the southern Pantanal region, as well as in the two main rivers draining the wetland, i.e., the Cuiaba and Paraguay rivers and tributaries. In addition, Arsenic in surface waters, perched water-table, soils and sediments from 3 experimental sites located in the heart of Nhecolândia were compared. On the one hand, the results show the absence of As contamination in rivers that supply the Pantanal floodplain, as well as a lack of significant release from the floodplain to the main drains. The As contents in the rivers are <2 µg L-1, with variations that depend on the lithology and on the geomorphology at the collection point (uplands or floodplain). On the other hand, they confirm the regional extension of As contamination in Nhecolândia's alkaline waters with some values above 3 mg L-1. Arsenic is mainly in the arsenate form, and increases with the evaporation process estimated from sodium ion concentrations. The pH of soil solution and surface water increases rapidly during evapo-concentration up to values above 9 or 10, preventing adsorption processes on oxides and clay minerals and promoting the retention of dissolved arsenic in solution. Solutions from organic soil horizons show higher As contents in relation to Na, attributed to the formation of ternary complex As-(Fe/Al)-OM. In this alkaline pH range, despite high levels of dissolved As, soil horizons and lake sediments in contact with these waters show As values that correspond to uncontaminated environments.
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