Concentrations of total and dissolved elements were determined in 35 water samples collected from rivers in Sardinia, a Mediterranean island in Italy. The overall composition did not change for waters sampled in both winter and summer (i.e., January at high-flow condition and June at low-flow condition), but the salinity and concentrations of the major ions increased in summer. Concentrations of elements such as Li, B, Mn, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ba and U were higher in summer with only small differences between total and dissolved (i.e., in the fraction <0.4 um) concentrations. The fact that these elements are mostly dissolved during low flow periods appears to be related to the intensity of water–rock interaction processes that are enhanced when the contribution of rainwater to the rivers is low, that is during low-flow conditions. In contrast, the concentrations of Al and Fe were higher in winter during high flow with total concentrations significantly higher than dissolved concentrations, indicating that the total amount depends on the amount of suspended matter. In waters filtered through 0.015 um pore-size filters, the concentrations of Al and Fe were much lower than in waters filtered through 0.4 um pore-size filters, indicating that the dissolved fraction comprises very fine particles or colloids. Also, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb were generally higher in waters collected during the high-flow condition, with much lower concentrations in 0.015 um pore-size filtered waters; this suggests aqueous transport via adsorption onto very fine particles. The rare earth elements (REE) and Th dissolved in the river waters display a wide range in concentrations (sumREE: 0.1–23 ug/L; Th: <0.005–0.58 ug/L). Higher REE and Th concentrations occurred at high flow. The positive correlation between sumREE and Fe suggests that the REE are associated with very fine particles (>0.015 and <0.4 um); the abundance of these particles in the river controls the partitioning of REE between solution and solid phases. Twenty percent of the water samples had dissolved Pb and total Hg concentrations that exceeded the Italian guidelines for drinking water (>10 ug/L Pb and >1 ug/L Hg). The highest concentrations of these heavy metals were observed at high-flow conditions and they were likely due to the weathering of mine wastes and to uncontrolled urban wastes discharged into the rivers.

Transport of trace elements at different seasonal conditions: effects on the quality of river water in a Mediterranean area

CIDU, ROSA;BIDDAU, RICCARDO
2007-01-01

Abstract

Concentrations of total and dissolved elements were determined in 35 water samples collected from rivers in Sardinia, a Mediterranean island in Italy. The overall composition did not change for waters sampled in both winter and summer (i.e., January at high-flow condition and June at low-flow condition), but the salinity and concentrations of the major ions increased in summer. Concentrations of elements such as Li, B, Mn, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ba and U were higher in summer with only small differences between total and dissolved (i.e., in the fraction <0.4 um) concentrations. The fact that these elements are mostly dissolved during low flow periods appears to be related to the intensity of water–rock interaction processes that are enhanced when the contribution of rainwater to the rivers is low, that is during low-flow conditions. In contrast, the concentrations of Al and Fe were higher in winter during high flow with total concentrations significantly higher than dissolved concentrations, indicating that the total amount depends on the amount of suspended matter. In waters filtered through 0.015 um pore-size filters, the concentrations of Al and Fe were much lower than in waters filtered through 0.4 um pore-size filters, indicating that the dissolved fraction comprises very fine particles or colloids. Also, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb were generally higher in waters collected during the high-flow condition, with much lower concentrations in 0.015 um pore-size filtered waters; this suggests aqueous transport via adsorption onto very fine particles. The rare earth elements (REE) and Th dissolved in the river waters display a wide range in concentrations (sumREE: 0.1–23 ug/L; Th: <0.005–0.58 ug/L). Higher REE and Th concentrations occurred at high flow. The positive correlation between sumREE and Fe suggests that the REE are associated with very fine particles (>0.015 and <0.4 um); the abundance of these particles in the river controls the partitioning of REE between solution and solid phases. Twenty percent of the water samples had dissolved Pb and total Hg concentrations that exceeded the Italian guidelines for drinking water (>10 ug/L Pb and >1 ug/L Hg). The highest concentrations of these heavy metals were observed at high-flow conditions and they were likely due to the weathering of mine wastes and to uncontrolled urban wastes discharged into the rivers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/98253
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