To elucidate the distribution of arsenic in shallow aquifers of the Guangzhou region (South China), 85 groundwater samples were collected and 18 chemical parameters of them were analyzed. The arsenic concentration of groundwater ranged from below detection limit to 0.13 mg/L. The results showed that those areas with high arsenic concentration were characterized by porous aquifers, low-lying, relief topography and close proximity to fault belt and rivers. The reductive dissolution of Fe (hydr)oxides is the main control mechanism for arsenic enrichment in the river delta region where groundwater is mainly characterized by a reducing environment. This mechanism was well embodied in the areas with these geological and geographical features. Agricultural fertilizer could produce high levels of nitrate in groundwater and the reduction of it could restrain the enrichment of arsenic. Industrial effluents, sewage irrigation and the probable leakage from sewers could promote the arsenic content in groundwater by lateral flow and infiltration. In addition, the effect of ion competition between phosphate and arsenic occurred in sewer leakage areas characterized by middle-high construction leading to the elevation of arsenic concentrations. The arsenic distribution in groundwater was caused by these natural and anthropogenic factors jointly.
- geographic information system (GIS)
- Guangzhou region
- Received April 6, 2014.
- Accepted June 11, 2014.
- © IWA Publishing 2014