Population statistics for As concentrations in rocks, sediments and ground water differ by geology and land use features in the New England region, USA. Significant sources of As in the surficial environment include both natural weathering of rocks and anthropogenic sources such as arsenical pesticides that were commonly applied to apple, blueberry and potato crops during the first half of the 20th century in the region. The variation of As in bedrock ground water wells has a strong positive correlation with geologic features at the geologic province, lithology group, and bedrock map unit levels. The variation of As in bedrock ground water wells also has a positive correlation with elevated stream sediment and rock As chemistry. Elevated As concentrations in bedrock wells do not correlate with past agricultural areas that used arsenical pesticides on crops. Stream sediments, which integrate both natural and anthropogenic sources, have a strong positive correlation of As concentrations with rock chemistry, geologic provinces and ground water chemistry, and a weaker positive correlation with past agricultural land use. Although correlation is not sufficient to demonstrate cause-and-effect, the statistics favor rock-based As as the dominant regional source of the element in stream sediments and ground water in New England. The distribution of bedrock geology features at the geologic province, lithology group and map unit level closely correlate with areas of elevated As in ground water, stream sediments, and rocks. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional Publication Details
The influence of geology and land use on arsenic in stream sediments and ground waters in New England, USA