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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Progress toward deployment of a wireless sensor network to understand arsenic mobilization in a Bangladeshi aquifer

  • Author(s): Nithya Ramanathan
  • Marci Burt
  • Genevieve Fernandez
  • Thomas Harmon
  • Jennifer Jay
  • Charles Harvey
  • Rebecca Nuemann
  • Deborah Estrin
  • et al.

Arsenic in groundwater has lead to a massive poisoning in Bangladesh. Tens of millions of people are currently drinking dangerously high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater, resulting in adverse health effects. However, we lack a full understanding of the factors controlling arsenic (a naturally occurring element) mobilization to groundwater. A current working hypothesis is that influx of dissolved arsenic to groundwater is greatly enhanced where rice cultivation provides the primary source of aquifer recharge because anoxic irrigation-return flow mobilizes arsenic (As) as it passes through an As-enriched iron oxide band in the sediment. We plan to deploy a wireless sensor network to monitor oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), moisture, soil temperature, calcium, ammonium, pH, oxidation, and nitrate at three depths in pylons located at three different locations.

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