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Factors controlling the regional distribution of vanadium in ground water

August 15, 2011

Although the ingestion of vanadium (V) in drinking water may have possible adverse health effects, there have been relatively few studies of V in groundwater. Given the importance of groundwater as a source of drinking water in many areas of the world, this study examines the potential sources and geochemical processes that control the distribution of V in groundwater on a regional scale. Potential sources of V to groundwater include dissolution of V rich rocks, and waste streams from industrial processes. Geochemical processes such as adsorption/desorption, precipitation/dissolution, and chemical transformations control V concentrations in groundwater. Based on thermodynamic data and laboratory studies, V concentrations are expected to be highest in samples collected from oxic and alkaline groundwater. However, the extent to which thermodynamic data and laboratory results apply to the actual distribution of V in groundwater is not well understood. More than 8400 groundwater samples collected in California were used in this study. Of these samples, high (≥50 µg/L) and moderate (25 to 49 µg/L) V concentrations were most frequently detected in regions where both source rock and favorable geochemical conditions occurred. The distribution of V concentrations in groundwater samples suggests that significant sources of V are mafic and andesitic rock. Anthropogenic activities do not appear to be a significant contributor of V to groundwater in this study. High V concentrations in groundwater samples analyzed in this study were almost always associated with oxic and alkaline groundwater conditions, which is consistent with predictions based on thermodynamic data.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2010
Title Factors controlling the regional distribution of vanadium in ground water
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2009.00666.x
Authors Michael T. Wright, Kenneth Belitz
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ground Water
Index ID 70003992
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center