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Title of Journal: Environ Earth Sci

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Abbravation: Environmental Earth Sciences

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Springer Berlin Heidelberg

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Water chemistry of the southern Tibetan Plateau: an assessment of the Yarlung Tsangpo river basin

Authors: Bin Qu, Yulan Zhang, Shichang Kang, Mika Sillanpää,

Publish Date: 2017/01/10
Volume: 76, Issue:2, Pages: 74-
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The Yarlung Tsangpo is the largest river draining the southern Tibetan Plateau along the Himalayan ranges. In this paper, the ions and elements in the water of the Yarlung Tsangpo were studied. In general, the water of the Yarlung Tsangpo had a fairly high buffering capacity (pH ~8.8) and oxidation environment (ORP ~190 mv). Total dissolved solids averaged approximately 157 mg L−1, which is higher than that of the global mean level. Under the dominant rock weathering due to the abundant carbonates around the river basin, the ionic chemistry of the Yarlung Tsangpo was mainly composed of Ca2+ and HCO3 −. In addition, with a large amount water discharged into the river, groundwater (e.g., numerous chloride-rich hot springs) is another potentially important source of ions that affect the water chemistry in the Yarlung Tsangpo basin. Although watercourses on the Tibetan Plateau can generally be considered pristine, concentrations of some toxic elements (i.e., Cd and Pb) were found to be higher than the WHO guideline for drinking water due to increasing influence from anthropogenic activities (e.g., tourism, mining operations and municipal wastewater discharge), which constitute a risk to human livelihoods in both local and surrounding regions.This study was funded by the Academy of Finland (Decision Number 264307), National Natural Science Foundation of China (41201074). The field work was supported by the Network for Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB03030504). The great help of Dr. Qianggong Zhang and Xiaobing Shi in the field work is gratefully acknowledged. The first author wishes to thank Dr. Junming Guo and Dr. Evgenia Iakovleva for their excellent assistance in ions and elements measurements.



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  1. Water chemistry of the southern Tibetan Plateau: an assessment of the Yarlung Tsangpo river basin
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