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Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society

On-line version ISSN 0717-9707

Abstract

NARVAEZ, JESSICA; RICHTER, PABLO  and  TORAL, M. INÉS. PRELIMINARY PHYSICAL CHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF RIVER WATERS AND SEDIMENTS AFFECTED BY COPPER MINING ACTIVITY IN CENTRAL CHILE: APPLICATION OF MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS. J. Chil. Chem. Soc. [online]. 2007, vol.52, n.3, pp.1261-1265. ISSN 0717-9707.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-97072007000300016.

The concentration of trace elements and other analytes of environmental interest was determined in waters and sediments of the Coya and Cachapoal rivers (VI Region, Central Chile), which corresponds to a location highly polluted by copper mining activity. Analysis showed the highest pollution at the sampling station closest to the copper smelter (Caletones), then pollutant concentrations decrease at sites far away from this source. The statistical correlation between the different variables determined in waters and sediments was carried out through a principal components analysis (PCA). It was observed that the parameters fell into three groups: (a) analytes present in waters and sediments which come from the mining wastes (b) analytes of lithoge-nic character present in waters plus alkaline and alkaline earth metals plus organic matter present in sediments and waters, and (c) lithogenic elements present in sediments. On the other hand, by using cluster analysis (CA), it was possible to group the different sampling stations according to their extent of pollution

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