Shallow aquifers are the most accessible reservoirs of potable groundwater; nevertheless, they are also prone to various sources of pollution and it is usually difficult to distinguish between human and natural sources at the watershed scale. The area chosen for this study (the Campania Plain) is characterized by high spatial heterogeneities both in geochemical features and in hydraulic properties. Groundwater mineralization is driven by many processes such as, geothermal activity, weathering of volcanic products and intense human activities. In such a landscape, multivariate statistical analysis has been used to differentiate among the main hydrochemical processes occurring in the area, using three different approaches of factor analysis: (i) major elements, (ii) trace elements, (iii) both major and trace elements. The elaboration of the factor analysis approaches has revealed seven distinct hydrogeochemical processes: i) Salinization (Cl−, Na+); ii) Carbonate rocks dissolution; iii) Anthropogenic inputs (NO3−, SO42−, U, V); iv) Reducing conditions (Fe2+, Mn2+); v) Heavy metals contamination (Cr and Ni); vi) Geothermal fluids influence (Li+); and vii) Volcanic products contribution (As, Rb). Results from this study highlight the need to separately apply factor analysis when a large data set of trace elements is available. In fact, the impact of geothermal fluids in the shallow aquifer was identified from the application of the factor analysis using only trace elements. This study also reveals that the factor analysis of major and trace elements can differentiate between anthropogenic and geogenic sources of pollution in intensively exploited aquifers.

Multivariate statistical analysis to characterize/discriminate between anthropogenic and geogenic trace elements occurrence in the Campania Plain, Southern Italy

Colombani, Nicolò
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Mastrocicco, Micòl
Supervision
;
2018

Abstract

Shallow aquifers are the most accessible reservoirs of potable groundwater; nevertheless, they are also prone to various sources of pollution and it is usually difficult to distinguish between human and natural sources at the watershed scale. The area chosen for this study (the Campania Plain) is characterized by high spatial heterogeneities both in geochemical features and in hydraulic properties. Groundwater mineralization is driven by many processes such as, geothermal activity, weathering of volcanic products and intense human activities. In such a landscape, multivariate statistical analysis has been used to differentiate among the main hydrochemical processes occurring in the area, using three different approaches of factor analysis: (i) major elements, (ii) trace elements, (iii) both major and trace elements. The elaboration of the factor analysis approaches has revealed seven distinct hydrogeochemical processes: i) Salinization (Cl−, Na+); ii) Carbonate rocks dissolution; iii) Anthropogenic inputs (NO3−, SO42−, U, V); iv) Reducing conditions (Fe2+, Mn2+); v) Heavy metals contamination (Cr and Ni); vi) Geothermal fluids influence (Li+); and vii) Volcanic products contribution (As, Rb). Results from this study highlight the need to separately apply factor analysis when a large data set of trace elements is available. In fact, the impact of geothermal fluids in the shallow aquifer was identified from the application of the factor analysis using only trace elements. This study also reveals that the factor analysis of major and trace elements can differentiate between anthropogenic and geogenic sources of pollution in intensively exploited aquifers.
2018
Busico, Gianluigi; Cuoco, Emilio; Kazakis, Nerantzis; Colombani, Nicolò; Mastrocicco, Micòl; Tedesco, Dario; Voudouris, Konstantinos
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2384147
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