Ash leachates from some recent eruptions of Mount Etna (Italy) and Popocatépetl (Mexico) volcanoes and their impact on amphibian living freshwater organisms
- 1Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e Geoambientali, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
- 2IDPA-CNR, via M. Bianco 9, Milan, Italy
- 3IGG-CNR, via Moruzzi 1, Pisa, Italy
- 4Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Ambiente e del Territorio e di Scienze della Terra, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126 Milan, Italy
- 5Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, via S. Maria 53, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Abstract. Leaching experiments were carried out on fresh ash samples from Popocatépetl 2012, Etna 2011, and Etna 2012 eruptions, in order to investigate the release of compounds in both double-deionized and lake (Lake Ohrid, FYR of Macedonia) waters. The experiments were carried out using different grain sizes and variable stirring times (from 30 min to 7 days). Results were discussed in the light of changing pH and release of compounds for the different leachates. In particular, Etna samples induced alkalinization, and Popocatépetl samples induced acidification of the corresponding leachates. The release of different elements does not show correlation with the stirring time, with the measured maximum concentrations reached in the first hours of washing. General inverse correlation with grain size was observed only for Na+, K+, Cl−, Ca2+, Mg2+, SO42−, and Mn2+, while the other analysed elements show a complex, scattering relationship with grain size.
Geochemical modelling highlights leachates' saturation only for F and Si, with Popocatépetl samples sometimes showing saturation in Fe.
The analysed leachates are classified as undrinkable for humans on the basis of European laws, due to excess in F−, Mn2+, Fe, and SO42− (the latter only for Popocatépetl samples).
Finally, the Etna 2012 and Popocatépetl leachates were used for toxicity experiments on living biota (Xenopus laevis). They are mildly toxic, and no significant differences exist between the toxic profiles of the two leachates. In particular, no significant embryo mortality was observed; while even at high dilutions, the leachates produced more than 20 % of malformed larvae.