SEGH Events

14th International Conference of the Geological Society of Greece

25 May 2016
Thessaloniki, Greece
The primary goal of the Conference is the presentation of the most recent advances in Geo- and Environmental Sciences, mainly in the Aegean Region and its surroundings, aiming at highlighting their impacts on natural resources, natural hazards, and environmental problems

SEGH Brussels 2016

04 July 2016
Brussels
32nd International SEGH conference, 4-8th July 2016
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Science in the News

Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

  • Trace metal content in inhalable particulate matter (PM 2.5–10 and PM 2.5 ) collected from historical mine waste deposits using a laboratory-based approach 2016-05-05

    Abstract

    Mine wastes and tailings are considered hazardous to human health because of their potential to generate large quantities of highly toxic emissions of particulate matter (PM). Human exposure to As and other trace metals in PM may occur via inhalation of airborne particulates or through ingestion of contaminated dust. This study describes a laboratory-based method for extracting PM2.5–10 (coarse) and PM2.5 (fine) particles from As-rich mine waste samples collected from an historical gold mining region in regional, Victoria, Australia. We also report on the trace metal and metalloid content of the coarse and fine fraction, with an emphasis on As as an element of potential concern. Laser diffraction analysis showed that the proportions of coarse and fine particles in the bulk samples ranged between 3.4–26.6 and 0.6–7.6 %, respectively. Arsenic concentrations were greater in the fine fraction (1680–26,100 mg kg−1) compared with the coarse fraction (1210–22,000 mg kg−1), and Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, Sb and Zn were found to be present in the fine fraction at levels around twice those occurring in the coarse. These results are of particular concern given that fine particles can accumulate in the human respiratory system. Our study demonstrates that mine wastes may be an important source of metal-enriched PM for mining communities.

  • Characterization and speciation of mercury in mosses and lichens from the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau 2016-05-03

    Abstract

    The accumulation and species of mercury (Hg) in mosses and lichens collected from high-altitude Tibetan Plateau were studied. The altitudes of the sampling sites spanned from 1983 to 5147 m, and a total of 130 mosses and 52 lichens were analyzed. The total mercury (THg) contents in mosses and lichens were in the ranges of 13.1–273.0 and 20.2–345.9 ng/g, respectively. The average ratios of methylmercury (MeHg) in THg in mosses and lichens were 2.4 % (0.3–11.1 %) and 2.7 % (0.4–9.6 %), respectively, which were higher than those values reported in other regions. The contents of THg in both mosses and lichens were not correlated with the THg in soils (p > 0.05). The lipid contents displayed a significantly positive correlation with concentrations of MeHg in mosses (r = 0.461, p < 0.01, n = 90), but not in lichens. The correlations between Hg contents in mosses and the altitudes, latitudes and longitudes of sampling sites indicated the mountain trapping and spatial deposition of Hg in the Tibetan Plateau.

  • Assessment of potentially harmful elements pollution in the Calore River basin (Southern Italy) 2016-05-03

    Abstract

    The geographical distribution of concentration values for harmful elements was determined in the Campania region, Italy. The study area consists of the drainage basin of the River Calore, a tributary of the river Volturno, the largest Southern Italian river. The results provide reliable analytical data allowing a quantitative assessment of the trace element pollution threat to the ecosystem and human health. Altogether 562 stream sediment samples were collected at a sampling density of 1 site per 5 km2. All samples were air-dried, sieved to <100 mesh fraction and analyzed for 37 elements after an aqua regia extraction by a combination of ICP-AES and ICP-MS. In addition to elemental analysis, gamma-ray spectrometry data were collected (a total of 562 measurements) using a hand-held Scintrex GRS-500 spectrometer. Statistical analyses were performed to show the single-element distribution and the distribution of elemental association factor scores resulting from R-mode factor analyses. Maps showing element distributions were made using GeoDAS and ArcGIS software. Our study showed that, despite evidence from concentrations of many elements for enrichment over natural background values, the spatial distribution of major and trace elements in Calore River basin is determined mostly by geogenic factors. The southwestern area of the basin highlighted an enrichment of many elements potentially harmful for human health and other living organisms (Al, Fe, K, Na, As, Cd, La, Pb, Th, Tl, U); however, these anomalies are due to the presence of pyroclastic and alkaline volcanic lithologies. Even where sedimentary lithologies occur, many harmful elements (Co, Cr, Mn, Ni) showed high concentration levels due to natural origins. Conversely, a strong heavy metal contamination (Pb, Zn, Cu, Sb, Ag, Au, Hg), due to an anthropogenic contribution, is highlighted in many areas characterized by the presence of road junctions, urban settlements and industrial areas. The enrichment factor of these elements is 3–4 times higher than the background values. The southwestern area of the basin is characterized by a moderate/high degree of contamination, just where the two busiest roads of the area run and the highest concentration of industries occurs.