Abstract: Geochemical mapping is the base knowledge to identify the regions of the planet with critical contents of potentially toxic elements from either natural or anthropogenic sources. Sediments, soils and waters are the vehicles which link the inorganic environment to life through the supply of essential macro and micro nutrients. The chemical composition of surface geological materials may cause metabolic changes which may favor the occurrence of endemic diseases in humans. In order to better understand the relationships between environmental geochemistry and public health, we present environmental risk maps of some harmful elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn) in the stream sediments of Santiago, Cape Verde, identifying the potentially harmful areas in this island. The Estimated Background Values (EBV) of Cd, Co, Cr, Ni and V were found to be above the Canadian guidelines for any type of use of stream sediments and also above the target values of the Dutch and United States guidelines. The Probably Effect Concentrations (PEC), above which harmful effects are likely in sediment dwelling organisms, were found for Cr and Ni. Some associations between the geological formations of the island and the composition of stream sediments were identified and confirmed by descriptive statistics and by Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The EBV spatial distribution of the metals and the results of PCA allowed us to establish relationships between the EBV maps and the geological formations. The first two PCA modes indicate that heavy metals in Santiago stream sediments are mainly originated from weathering of underlying bedrocks. The first metal association (Co, V, Cr, and Mn; first PCA mode) consists of elements enriched in basic rocks and compatible elements. The second association of variables (Zn and Cd as opposed to Ni; second PCA mode) appears to be strongly controlled by the composition of alkaline volcanic rocks and pyroclastic rocks. So, the second PCA mode is also considered as a natural lithogenic mode. The third association (Cu and Pb; third PCA mode) consists of elements of anthropogenic origin.
Abstract: Glaciotectonic studies are an integrated part of the Quaternary geological research carried out by the Danish geological survey. Almost all the hilly areas in Denmark were created or affected by glaciotectonic deformations, and the features are included in the mapping of surface near deposits. For the mapping and support of constructing 3D geological models a classification of architecture of glaciotectonic complexes is suggested. The important elements for classification of architecture are the surfaces. Four orders of surfaces are defined for glaciotectonic complexes: first-order surfaces are décollement surfaces and glaciotectonic unconformities; second-order surfaces are ramps and flats—the thrust faults; third-order surfaces are folded beds—anticlines and synclines; and fourth-order surfaces are small scale folds and faults—kink bands, conjugate faults, box folds, etc. The most important first-order surface is the décollement surface. This surface limits the glaciotectonic complex at its base and controls the extent of glaciotectonic disturbances. Below this surface, ordinary flat lying planar bedding occurs, whereas above the surface a number of structures are present characteristic of second- to fourth-order elements in the glaciotectonic architecture. The other first-order surface is the topographic top of the glaciotectonic complex, which eventually may be replaced by a truncating unconformity.
Abstract: The Sn-W Panasqueira mine, in activity since the mid-1890s, is one of the most important economic deposits in the world. Arsenopyrite is the main mineral present as well as rejected waste sulphide. The long history is testified by the presence of a huge amount of tailings, which release considerable quantities of heavy metal(loid)s into the environment. This work assesses soil contamination and evaluates the ecological and human health risks due to exposure to hazardous materials. The metal assemblage identified in soil (Ag-As-Bi-Cd-Cu-W-Zn; potentially toxic elements (PTEs)) reflects the influence of the tailings, due to several agents including aerial dispersion. PTEs and pH display a positive correlation confirming that heavy metal mobility is directly related to pH and, therefore, affects their availability. The estimated contamination factor classified 92.6% of soil samples as moderately to ultra-highly polluted. The spatial distribution of the potential ecological risk index classified the topsoil as being of a very high ecological risk, consistent with wind direction. Non-carcinogenic hazard of topsoil, for children (1–6 years), showed that for As the non-carcinogenic hazard represents a high health risk. The carcinogenic risks, both for children and adult alike, reveal a very high cancer risk mostly due to As ingestion.
Abstract: Organic compounds in Australian coal seam gas produced water (CSG water) are poorly understood despite their environmental contamination potential. In this study, the presence of some organic substances is identified from government-held CSG water-quality data from the Bowen and Surat Basins, Queensland. These records revealed the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 27% of samples of CSG water from the Walloon Coal Measures at concentrations <1 µg/L, and it is likely these compounds leached from in situ coals. PAHs identified from wells include naphthalene, phenanthrene, chrysene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene. In addition, the likelihood of coal-derived organic compounds leaching to groundwater is assessed by undertaking toxicity leaching experiments using coal rank and water chemistry as variables. These tests suggest higher molecular weight PAHs (including benzo[a]pyrene) leach from higher rank coals, whereas lower molecular weight PAHs leach at greater concentrations from lower rank coal. Some of the identified organic compounds have carcinogenic or health risk potential, but they are unlikely to be acutely toxic at the observed concentrations which are almost negligible (largely due to the hydrophobicity of such compounds). Hence, this study will be useful to practitioners assessing CSG water related environmental and health risk.
Abstract: This research examines risk factors for sporadic cryptosporidiosis and Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 infection in East Tennessee, using a case-control approach and spatial logistic regression models. The risk factors examined are animal density, land use, geology, surface water impairment, poverty rate and availability of private water supply. Proximity to karst geology, beef cow population density and a high percentage of both developed land and pasture land are positively associated with both diseases. The availability of private water supply is negatively associated with both diseases. Risk maps generated using the model coefficients show areas of elevated risk to identify the communities where background risk is highest, so that limited public health resources can be targeted to the risk factors and communities most at risk. These results can be used as the framework upon which to develop a comprehensive epidemiological study that focuses on risk factors important at the individual level.
Abstract: Glacier area and volume changes were quantified through the use of historical aerial photographs in the Wind River Range, Wyoming. Forty-four glaciers in the Wind River Range were analyzed using orthorectified aerial photography from 2012. This is an update to the work of Thompson et al.  in which the surface area changes of the 44 glaciers were estimated from 1966 to 2006. The total surface area of the glaciers was estimated to be 27.8 ± 0.8 km2, a decrease of 39% from 1966 and a decrease of 2% from 2006. The 2012 volume changes for the 44 glaciers were estimated using the Bahr et al.  volume-area scaling technique. The total glacier volume in 2012 was calculated to be 1.01 ± 0.21 km3, a decrease of 63% from 1966. These results, once compared to temperature and snowpack trends, suggest that the downward trend in snowpack as well as increasing temperatures seem to be the most likely driver of the glacier recessions. With Global Circulation Models (GCMs) forecasting higher temperatures and lower precipitation in the western U.S., it is likely that glaciers will continue to recede.Glacier area and volume changes were quantified through the use of historical aerial photographs in the Wind River Range, Wyoming. Forty-four glaciers in the Wind River Range were analyzed using orthorectified aerial photography from 2012. This is an update to the work of Thompson et al.  in which the surface area changes of the 44 glaciers were estimated from 1966 to 2006. The total surface area of the glaciers was estimated to be 27.8 ± 0.8 km2, a decrease of 39% from 1966 and a decrease of 2% from 2006. The 2012 volume changes for the 44 glaciers were estimated using the Bahr et al.  volume-area scaling technique. The total glacier volume in 2012 was calculated to be 1.01 ± 0.21 km3, a decrease of 63% from 1966. These results, once compared to temperature and snowpack trends, suggest that the downward trend in snowpack as well as increasing temperatures seem to be the most likely driver of the glacier recessions. With Global Circulation Models (GCMs) forecasting higher temperatures and lower precipitation in the western U.S., it is likely that glaciers will continue to recede.