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Project 707 - Origin, Distribution, and Biogeochemistry of Arsenic in the Altiplano-Puna plateau of South America

Brief outline of the project

According to the World Health Organization (2018), approximately 140 million people from 50 countries are exposed to drinking water containing As levels higher than the recommended limit (> 10 μ/L). In South America, the second highest plateau on Earth referred to as the “Altiplano-Puna”, which encompasses areas of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Perú, exhibits high As concentrations in water that could be affecting 3 million inhabitants.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, the proposed international collaborative research will investigate specific sites within the Altiplano-Puna plateau of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile to better understand

  • (i) the origin of As,
  • (ii) its geochemistry and mobility,
  • (iii) its distribution in the environment, and
  • (iv) its effects in the local community and unusual biodiversity.

Human health, the environment, as well as scientific insight will benefit from this research. Moreover, the results and interpretations of this proposed research will have substantial applicability to other regions of the world that experience elevated aqueous As concentrations.


    Registration for the webinar: on this link


    Related information

    • Duration: 2020-2022
    • IGCP Theme: Hydrogeology
    • Website


    • Project Leader: Dr. Jesica Murray (Argentina)
    • E-mail: murray.jesica(at)
    • Address: Avenida 9 de Julio 14, Rosario de Lerma, Salta, Argentina


    Project Updates


    Given the current post pandemic sanitary conditions, travelling between countries is not yet fully normalized. For that reason, the project prepared two different plans for 2022: Plan A (internal trips without international travelling), Plan B (Meeting in Bolivia). The plan to be achieved will be decided during July of 2022.



    IGCP project meetings in 2021

    In the scope of the IGCP-UNESCO 707 project “Origin, distribution, and biogeochemistry of arsenic in the Altiplano-Puna plateau of South America”, the free webinar series will provide insights on topics related to the origin and geochemistry of arsenic as well as its effects on human health, remediation technologies, and case studies around the world.

    • May 14th – Blaine McCleskey – Arsenic aqueous geochemistry in Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field.
    • June 11th – Bernhard Dold – How mine waste remediation intercepts the natural arsenic flow at a marine shore tailings deposit.
    • July 16th – Prosun Bhattacharya – Arsenic in global groundwaters – impacts and risk mitigation