Trace element geochemistry of the Arno River and its main tributaries was investigated on the basis of two surveys carried out in November 1996 and June 1997. By analyzing filtered and unfiltered water samples, Fe and Al are found in solution mainly as colloidal particles of size lower than 0.45 um. In June (lower flow rate), Fe and Al are enriched in the filtered waters from the main river, and this feature was interpreted in terms of higher water temperature promoting the formation of smaller particles, thus reducing their aggregation properties. Iron and Al show perfectly synchronous downstream profiles along the Arno River, correlate quite well each to other, and display abrupt concentration increases near to Florence, where the lithology of the catchment changes from siliciclastic dominated to clay-sand (lacustrine-marine)-dominated. The same behaviour is shown by most of the other trace elements in the river, thus supporting a general lithological control. Trace elements in the final part of the Arno River are influenced by flocculation processes in addition to mixing. Adsorption phenomena on oxy-hydroxides are denoted by good elemental correlations with Fe (and Al). Sporadic anomalous concentration values, possibly related to anthropogenic contributions, may prevent such correlations. Referring to the quality of waters for potable use and fish life, toxic elements are below the acceptable limits of current European regulations, with few exceptions for Hg exceeding guideline values. Multivariate analysis groups trace elements according to geochemical affinities and natural or anthropogenic sources, thus distinguishing contaminated from uncontaminated samples. The results achieved in this work will help regional and national Authorities for compliance with the EU water policy, especially in assessing the water quality at the river basin scale and its vulnerability to human activities.

Trace elements in the River Arno and its tributaries, northern Tuscany, Italy

CIDU, ROSA;
2009

Abstract

Trace element geochemistry of the Arno River and its main tributaries was investigated on the basis of two surveys carried out in November 1996 and June 1997. By analyzing filtered and unfiltered water samples, Fe and Al are found in solution mainly as colloidal particles of size lower than 0.45 um. In June (lower flow rate), Fe and Al are enriched in the filtered waters from the main river, and this feature was interpreted in terms of higher water temperature promoting the formation of smaller particles, thus reducing their aggregation properties. Iron and Al show perfectly synchronous downstream profiles along the Arno River, correlate quite well each to other, and display abrupt concentration increases near to Florence, where the lithology of the catchment changes from siliciclastic dominated to clay-sand (lacustrine-marine)-dominated. The same behaviour is shown by most of the other trace elements in the river, thus supporting a general lithological control. Trace elements in the final part of the Arno River are influenced by flocculation processes in addition to mixing. Adsorption phenomena on oxy-hydroxides are denoted by good elemental correlations with Fe (and Al). Sporadic anomalous concentration values, possibly related to anthropogenic contributions, may prevent such correlations. Referring to the quality of waters for potable use and fish life, toxic elements are below the acceptable limits of current European regulations, with few exceptions for Hg exceeding guideline values. Multivariate analysis groups trace elements according to geochemical affinities and natural or anthropogenic sources, thus distinguishing contaminated from uncontaminated samples. The results achieved in this work will help regional and national Authorities for compliance with the EU water policy, especially in assessing the water quality at the river basin scale and its vulnerability to human activities.
Arno river; Trace elements; Water quality; colloidal particles
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/21018
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