Hydrogeological and hydrochemical features of an area polluted by heavy metals in central Nicaragua

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Geophysical and hydrochemical surveys were used to investigate the hydrogeological conditions in one of the Rio Sucio microbasins, in central Nicaragua. Zones of vertical structures (i.e. fractures and quartz veins) and weathering were mapped using Continuous Vertical Electrical Soundings (CVES), as such zones are of major importance for groundwater transport. Water from the springs was analysed to determine concentrations of major ions and heavy metals. Low ion concentrations and 180 analyses indicate that the springs occur close to their recharge areas and there is a relatively rapid groundwater circulation. Mercury (Hg) content in the springs was low, while comparatively high amounts of lead (Pb) were found. The results presented here demonstrate the important function of weathering and tectonics in the occurrence of groundwater systems in the basin. Hg and Pb found in the springs' water reveal the existence of an increase in pollution sources disseminating in the area. More than 100 years of using mercury in the gold-mining industry and releasing wastes into rivers has affected water quality and ecosystems. Further investigations are needed in this area to determine the groundwater vulnerability to this pollution as this resource may be needed in the future.
Sidor (från-till)777-784
TidskriftHydrogeology Journal
StatusPublished - 2006

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Geoteknik


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