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Issue 6, 2002
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Fractionation of elements by particle size of ashes ejected from Copahue Volcano, Argentina

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The volcano Copahue, Neuquén province, Argentina has shown infrequent explosive eruptions since the 18th century. Recently, eruptive activity and seismicity were registered in the period July–October, 2000. As a consequence, ash clouds were dispersed by winds and affected Caviahue village located at about 9 km east of the volcano. Samples of deposited particles from this area were collected during this episode for their chemical analysis to determine elements of concern with respect to the health of the local population and its environment. Different techniques were used to evaluate the distribution of elements in four particle size ranges from 36 to 300 µm. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) was selected to detect major components namely, minerals, silicate glass, fragments of rocks and sulfurs. Major and minor elements (Al, Ca, Cl, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, S, Si and Ti), were detected by energy dispersive X ray analysis (EDAX). Trace element (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sb, U, V and Zn) content was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Nuclear activation analysis (NAA) was employed for the determination of Ce, Co, Cs, Eu, Hf, La, Lu, Rb, Sc, Sm, Ta and Yb. An enrichment was observed in the smallest size fraction of volcanic ashes for four elements (As, Cd, Cu and Sb) of particular interest from the environmental and human health point of view.

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jul 2002, accepted on 12 Sep 2002 and first published on 27 Sep 2002

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B207080B
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2002,4, 972-977
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    Fractionation of elements by particle size of ashes ejected from Copahue Volcano, Argentina

    D. Gómez, P. Smichowski, G. Polla, A. Ledesma, S. Resnizky and S. Rosa, J. Environ. Monit., 2002, 4, 972
    DOI: 10.1039/B207080B

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