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Article

Hydrogeochemical Processes and Natural Background Levels of Chromium in an Ultramafic Environment. The Case Study of Vermio Mountain, Western Macedonia, Greece

1
School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Division of Geo-Sciences, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechniou St., 15773 Zografou, Greece
2
Researcher, Orologa 8, 11521 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Evangelos Tziritis and Andreas Panagopoulos
Water 2021, 13(20), 2809; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202809
Received: 2 August 2021 / Revised: 27 September 2021 / Accepted: 2 October 2021 / Published: 9 October 2021
The hydrogeochemical processes and natural background levels (NBLs) of chromium in the ultramafic environment of Vermio Mountain, Western Macedonia, Greece, were studied. Seventy groundwater samples were collected from 15 natural springs between 2014–2020, and an extensive set of physical and chemical parameters were determined. The ultramafic-dominated environment of western Vermio Mt. favors elevated groundwater concentrations of dissolved magnesium (Mg2+), silicon (Si), nickel (Ni), and Cr in natural spring waters. Chromium was the principal environmental parameter that exhibited a wide range of concentrations, from 0.5 to 131.5 μg/L, systematically exceeding the permissible limit of 50 μg/L for drinking water. Statistical evaluation of hydrogeological, hydrochemical, and hydrological data highlighted the water-ultramafic rock process as the predominant contributor of Cr in groundwater. The NBL assessment for Cr and Cr(VI) was successfully applied to the typical ultramafic-dominated spring “Potistis” that satisfied all the methodology criteria. The NBLs of Cr and Cr(VI) were defined at 130 μg/L and 100 μg/L, respectively, revealing that a natural ultramafic-dominated environment exhibits the geochemical potential to contribute very high concentrations of geogenic Cr to groundwater. The holistic methodology, proposed herein, could be implemented in any catchment scale to assess geogenic and anthropogenic Cr-sources that degrade groundwater quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: chromium; ultramafic rocks; springs; water–rock interaction; natural background levels chromium; ultramafic rocks; springs; water–rock interaction; natural background levels
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vasileiou, E.; Papazotos, P.; Dimitrakopoulos, D.; Perraki, M. Hydrogeochemical Processes and Natural Background Levels of Chromium in an Ultramafic Environment. The Case Study of Vermio Mountain, Western Macedonia, Greece. Water 2021, 13, 2809. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202809

AMA Style

Vasileiou E, Papazotos P, Dimitrakopoulos D, Perraki M. Hydrogeochemical Processes and Natural Background Levels of Chromium in an Ultramafic Environment. The Case Study of Vermio Mountain, Western Macedonia, Greece. Water. 2021; 13(20):2809. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202809

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vasileiou, Eleni, Panagiotis Papazotos, Dimitrios Dimitrakopoulos, and Maria Perraki. 2021. "Hydrogeochemical Processes and Natural Background Levels of Chromium in an Ultramafic Environment. The Case Study of Vermio Mountain, Western Macedonia, Greece" Water 13, no. 20: 2809. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202809

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