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Arsenic in groundwater: the deep late Pleistocene aquifers of the Western Bengal Basin

McArthur, JM; Ghosal, U; Sikdar, PK; Ball, JD; (2016) Arsenic in groundwater: the deep late Pleistocene aquifers of the Western Bengal Basin. Environmental Science and Technology , 50 (7) pp. 3469-3476. 10.1021/acs.est.5b02477. Green open access

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Abstract

In groundwaters from 145 wells across central West Bengal, India, those from Pleistocene aquifers at depths >70 m beneath paleo-interfluves contain <10 μg/L As. Pleistocene aquifers beneath deep paleo-channels typically host groundwaters containing 10-100 μg/L As at depths between 120 and 180 m. The depth profiles of As and SO4 and the conservative tracers Cl/Br, δ18O, and δ2H show that the As in Pleistocene groundwater beneath deep paleo-channels is relict and does not arise from migration downward of As-polluted groundwater in overlying aquifers. We postulate that the As was liberated in situ by reduction of minimal iron oxyhydroxides in the gray Pleistocene sands by organic matter infiltrating from riverbeds during late Pleistocene or earliest Holocene times. Mitigation of the widespread As-pollution in shallow aquifers through exploitation of deep Pleistocene aquifers would improve if guided by an understanding of the distribution of buried paleo-channels and paleo-interfluves and the knowledge that As may be present naturally in groundwater at depths >150 m beneath deep paleo-channels.

Type: Article
Title: Arsenic in groundwater: the deep late Pleistocene aquifers of the Western Bengal Basin
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02477
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b02477
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society. This is the author accepted manuscript version of the following article: Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (7), pp 3469–3476. The final published article is available on the publisher's website at http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b02477
Keywords: arsenic, pollution, groundwater, West Bengal, aquifers, deep
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1492958
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