Arsenic within the secondary environment resulting from geogenic inputs, Harlech Dome, United Kingdom

Graham Bird, Hannah E. G. Bell, William T. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


There has been a growing awareness of As in the environment due to both anthropogenic and geogenic loading. This study quantifies the presence of As in river water, river sediment and groundwater within the Harlech Dome region of the UK, an area underlain by Cambro–Ordovician aged mineralization. Published data regarding As levels in UK groundwater are relatively rare compared to elsewhere. Arsenic levels in groundwater (0.1–18 µg l−1) and river sediment (1.5–142 mg kg−1) exceed environmental quality guidelines and indicate the release of As into the secondary environment from predominantly geogenic sources. Modelling of dissolved As speciation using ORP–pH diagrams predicts the presence of As in both arsenate (As5+) and arsenous acid (As3+) species, which possess differing solubilities and mobilities. Calculation of enrichment factors (EFs) for As in river sediments, using Al as a reference element, indicates highest EFs, and therefore As release, occurs in streams draining the Coed-y-Brenin region in the south-east of the Harlech Dome. This area is underlain by an as yet unexploited porphyry copper deposit. Data indicate that the presence of potentially harmful elements within the environment may occur with or without the presence of major anthropogenic activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3521-3530
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number9
Early online date22 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2014


  • arsenic
  • geogenic
  • groundwater
  • river sediment
  • enrichment factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Arsenic within the secondary environment resulting from geogenic inputs, Harlech Dome, United Kingdom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this