Written Paper

Geothermal spring causes arsenic contamination in river waters of the southern Tibetan Plateau, China  [2014]

Li, Chaoliu Kang, Shichang Chen, Pengfei Zhang, Qianggong et al.

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Large numbers of As-enriched geothermal springs are distributed at the southern Tibetan Plateau, and their influence on river water is still not clear. Lhasa River and its tributary, Duilong Qu located at downstream of the largest geothermal spring of the Tibetan Plateau, were selected for sampling during monsoon and non-monsoon seasons. Dissolved trace elements (B, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cs, Ba and U) were measured in river water samples by ICP-MS. The results show that due to contribution of geothermal spring, As levels of Duilong Qu (205.6� μg/L) and Lhasa River (12.7� μg/L) were higher during non-monsoon season than that of WHO guideline for drinking water (10� μg/L). Accordingly, As level of river water was lower during the monsoon season than that of the non-monsoon season due mainly to dilution process. Therefore, although Tibetan rivers are generally considered as free of contamination, geothermal springs cause As contamination of river water at some local regions and may harm the local residents. Further research is needed in other parts of the plateau to determine whether As level of groundwater of the related region is high.

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Environmental earth sciences

ISSN : 1866-6280