Publicaciones

Potential accumulation of contaminated sediments in a reservoir of a high-Andean watershed: Morphodynamic connections with geochemical processes

Journal

Water Resources Research

Institución

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Disciplina

Ciencias de la Tierra

afiliacion

  1. María Teresa Contreras, Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Centro de Investigación para la Gestión de Desastres Naturales (CIGIDEN), Chile
  2. Daniel Müllendorff, Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Centro de Investigación para la Gestión de Desastres Naturales (CIGIDEN), Chile
  3. Pablo Pastén, Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable (CEDEUS), Chile
  4. Gonzalo E. Pizarro, Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable (CEDEUS), Chile
  5. Chris Paola, School of Earth Sciences, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  6. Cristián Escauriaza, cescauri@ing.puc.cl, Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Centro de Investigación para la Gestión de Desastres Naturales (CIGIDEN), Chile

Abstract

Rapid changes due to anthropic interventions in high-altitude environments, such as the Altiplano region in South America, require new approaches to understand the connections between physical and geochemical processes. Alterations of the water quality linked to the river morphology can affect the ecosystems and human development in the long term. The future construction of a reservoir in the Lluta River, located in northern Chile, will change the spatial distribution of arsenic-rich sediments, which can have significant effects on the lower parts of the watershed. In this investigation, we develop a coupled numerical model to predict and evaluate the interactions between morphodynamic changes in the Lluta reservoir, and conditions that can potentially desorb arsenic from the sediments. Assuming that contaminants are mobilized under anaerobic conditions, we calculate the oxygen concentration within the sediments to study the interactions of the delta progradation with the potential arsenic release. This work provides a framework for future studies aimed to analyze the complex connections between morphodynamics and water quality, when contaminant-rich sediments accumulate in a reservoir. The tool can also help to design effective risk management and remediation strategies in these extreme environments.

Link

Ver publicación