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Arsenic in geothermal waters in Costa Rica, Central America: A preliminary study on the sources, mobility controls and evaluation of environmental contamination and restoration (»Add to Infobox)

Research Leader: Prosun Bhattacharya
Guillermo E. Alvar, Jochen Bundschuh

Environmental Geochemistry

Arsenic (As) is a ubiquitous component of active geothermal systems that contaminate the natural drainage systems and thereby an issue of environmental health concern. Concentrations of As frequently exceed 10 µg/L and as high as 2000 µg/L As are reported from the areas of geothermal activity. There is a conspicuous lack of knowledge about the nature and distribution of As in geothermal water, its speciation, mobility and biogeochemical cycling. Costa Rica is an ideal area to study the behaviour of As in geothermal waters and to explore the severity of As as environmental contaminant. This project aims to:
i) study the the hydrogeochemistry and aqueous speciation of As in geothermal waters
ii) demarcate geothermal waters with elevated As concentrations,
iii) provide geochemical characterisation of volcanic muds in contact with geothermal waters,
iv) assess the evidence for As remobilisation mechanisms in environment, and
v) suggest protection measures to avoid As contamination.

Period: 2005-04-18

Arsenic, Geochemical modelling, Groundwater, Chemical processes, Contamination, Environmental chemistry, Geothermal systems, Geothermal water, Geothermal fields, Volcanic sediments, Costa Rica

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