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Article

Determining the Regional Geochemical Background for Dissolved Trace Metals and Metalloids in Stream Waters: Protocol, Results and Limitations—The Upper Loire River Basin (France)

1
Faculty of Sciences, University of Tours, E.A. 6392 GéoHydorsystèmes Continentaux, Parc de Grandmont, 37200 Tours, France
2
Agence de l’Eau Loire-Bretagne, CS 36339, CEDEX 2, 45063 Orléans, France
3
GEOTOP, Earth and Atmosphere Sciences Department, UQAM, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Domenico Cicchella
Water 2021, 13(13), 1845; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131845
Received: 22 April 2021 / Revised: 26 June 2021 / Accepted: 28 June 2021 / Published: 1 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Impact on Water Resources)
To avoid the improper disqualification of a watershed for which the water–rock interaction (WRI) may produce trace element concentrations exceeding established guidelines, it is of the utmost importance to properly establish natural geochemical backgrounds. Using the example of the crystalline Upper Loire River Basin, we are proposing a methodology based on the selection and chemical characterization of water and sediment samples from 10 monolithologic watersheds supposedly lowly impacted by anthropogenic inputs. We collected water samples from each watershed’s spring down to its outlet and measured dissolved major, minor and selected trace elements (Al, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, La, Ni, Pb, U, V and Zn) at low- and high-water stages. Results show that the chemical signature of the stream waters is controlled by mineral weatherability rather than by the available rock stock. As a result, the variability in dissolved metal concentrations between the principal lithologies is similar to that observed within each of them. While some elements mostly result from WRI, others clearly identify high inputs from topsoil leaching. Comparison with published data evidences the need to subdivide studied watersheds into distinct sectors, according to the distance from the spring, in order to define reliable natural backgrounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: trace metals and metalloids; stream waters; dissolved concentration; geochemical background; monolithologic watersheds trace metals and metalloids; stream waters; dissolved concentration; geochemical background; monolithologic watersheds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gassama, N.; Curie, F.; Vanhooydonck, P.; Bourrain, X.; Widory, D. Determining the Regional Geochemical Background for Dissolved Trace Metals and Metalloids in Stream Waters: Protocol, Results and Limitations—The Upper Loire River Basin (France). Water 2021, 13, 1845. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131845

AMA Style

Gassama N, Curie F, Vanhooydonck P, Bourrain X, Widory D. Determining the Regional Geochemical Background for Dissolved Trace Metals and Metalloids in Stream Waters: Protocol, Results and Limitations—The Upper Loire River Basin (France). Water. 2021; 13(13):1845. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131845

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gassama, Nathalie, Florence Curie, Pierre Vanhooydonck, Xavier Bourrain, and David Widory. 2021. "Determining the Regional Geochemical Background for Dissolved Trace Metals and Metalloids in Stream Waters: Protocol, Results and Limitations—The Upper Loire River Basin (France)" Water 13, no. 13: 1845. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131845

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