Origin and mobility of hexavalent chromium in North-Eastern Attica, Greece

D. Moraetis*, N. P. Nikolaidis, G. P. Karatzas, Z. Dokou, N. Kalogerakis, L. H.E. Winkel, A. Palaiogianni-Bellou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


An integrated framework that is comprised of field surveys of groundwater, surface water and soils, laboratory process experiments and hydrologic and geochemical modeling is used to identify the origin (anthropogenic versus geogenic sources), fate and transport of hexavalent Cr in Tertiary and Quaternary deposits of Oropos plain in Greece. Groundwater and soils were analyzed in May 2008 and exhibited considerable Cr concentrations. Mineralogical analysis and micro-XRF analysis of the heavy soil fractions (metallic components) showed Cr bearing phases like chromites, Cr-silicate phases with positive correlation between Si, Al, Fe and Cr soil concentrations. Column experiments showed the Cr(VI) desorption ability of soils, e.g. concentration of 20μgL -1 was detected after the application of 50mm of rain. The groundwater model simulated the variability of Cr concentrations emanating from both anthropogenic and geogenic sources, successfully using rate constants obtained from the laboratory experiments, e.g. 4.24nMh -1 for serpentine soil and 0.77nMh -1 for soil in alluvial deposits. The mineralogical and geochemical results support a geogenic origin for Cr in soils and groundwater of Oropos plain while modeling results suggest that contaminants transported by Asopos River have affected only the upper layers of the subsurface in the vicinity of the river. The framework can be used to establish background concentrations or clean up levels of Cr-contaminated soils and groundwater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1178
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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