Comparison of Mercury Contamination in FourIndonesian Watersheds Affected by Artisanaland Small Scale Gold Mining of Varying Scale

M. Barkdull, Natalie and T. Carling, Gregory and Rey, Kevin and Yudiantoro, Dwi Fitri (2019) Comparison of Mercury Contamination in FourIndonesian Watersheds Affected by Artisanaland Small Scale Gold Mining of Varying Scale. Springer International Publishing.

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11270...

Abstract

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) accounts for almost half of anthropogenic mercury (Hg) emissions worldwide and causes widespread water pollution. In Indonesia, several studies have identified harmful levels of Hg in areas affected by ASGM. While most of these studies focus on mining areas with thousands of miners, water contamination in smaller ASGM areas is less understood. We evaluated Hg contamination in four ASGM areas in Central Java of varying scale (from 30 to 3000 amalgamator barrels at each area), including Jatiroto, Kebonsari, Gumelar, and Kulon Progo. At each location, we collected water samples along river transects upstream and downstream of ASGMareas during the dry season (June–July 2017). Total Hg (THg) concentrations in stream water increased by orders of magnitude from upstream to downstream of ASGM activities at Jatiroto (1.35–4730 ng/L), with smaller observed increases at the other locations. Dissolved THg concentrations exceeded USEPA criteria for aquatic life (12 ng/L) at two of the four ASGMareas. THg concentrations in tailings exceeded 150,000 ng/L Notably, THg concentrations in stream water were not directly related to the scale of mining, with Jatiroto having the highest concentrations as second smallest mining areas of the four in this study. Downstream of the mining areas, the fraction of dissolved methyl Hg to dissolved THg reached 20%, indicating that active Hg methylation occurs in the watersheds. Further study is needed to investigate Hg transport in the wet season when rainfall and high stream discharge may mobilize contaminated sediment near mining areas. Keywords Trace elements Total mercury mercury . Artisanal and small-scale gold mining . ASGM . Indonesia

Item Type: Other
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Engineering Sciences
Depositing User: Dr.Ir.MT DWI FITRI YUDIANTORO
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 06:19
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 06:20
URI: http://eprints.upnyk.ac.id/id/eprint/20945

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