Major ion, trace element, and stable isotope analyses were performed on groundwater samples collected during November 2005 and 2006 in Chia-Nan plain of southwestern Taiwan to examine As mobilization in aquifers. The high concentrations of As, Fe and Mn in the groundwater is consistent with low Eh values (under moderately reduced state). Moreover, the observed Na/Cl and SO4/Cl molar ratios in groundwater demonstrate the influence of seawater intrusion. Seawater intrusion could provide required electron acceptors (i.e., SO4) for bacterial sulfate reduction and promote reducing conditions that are favorable for As mobilization. The concurrent increases in the concentrations of Fe and Mn from 2005 to 2006 may be caused by bacterial Fe(III) and Mn(IV) reduction. Geochemical modeling demonstrate that As(III) is the dominant As species and the presence of Fe-bearing carbonates, sulfides, and oxide phases may locally act as potential sinks for As. Mud volcano fluids were also collected and analyzed to assess the possible source of As in the Chia-Nan plain groundwater. The oxygen and hydrogen isotopic signatures indicate that the As-rich mud volcano fluids may have been modified by chemical exchange with 18O-rich crustal rocks and possibly originated from mixing of deep brines with circulating meteoric water. Thus As in the Chia-Nan plain groundwater may have been evolved from deep crustal fluids or rock sources. The hydrogeochemistry and widespread As enrichment in groundwater of Chia-Nan plain result from multiple processes, e.g., de-watering of deep crustal fluids, seawater intrusion, and biogeochemical cycling of Fe, As, and S in alluvial sediments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Water Science and Technology