Department of Analytical Research/Laboratory of Hydrogeology and Hydrochemistry

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About the Laboratory

The Laboratory of Hydrogeochemistry was established in 1950, within the structure of the Hydrogeochemistry Department. The Department was headed by the renowned hydrogeologist and major expert on mineral waters A. P. Demyokhin, who compiled the first scientific summary on the mineral waters of Armenia. 
The hydrogeochemical methods of deposit exploration were elaborated as early as in 1954, and since then scientific research on the hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical conditions of metal deposits had been launched and carried on in the Republic. A specific method of water extraction of soils was elaborated and applied in Armenia for the first time by N. I. Dolukhanova. 
In 1957, the influence of water level decrease in Lake Sevan on the hydrogeological conditions of the lake basin was studied by the Laboratory. 
The geothermal features of mineral waters and the hydrochemistry of the mineral regions of the RA were examined. Under the leadership of N. I. Khitarov,  USSR prominent scientist, hydrogeological maps were prepared for several regions of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (ArmSSR) , and the composition and features of mineral waters of Arzni, Jermuk, Dilijan, Hankavan and other areas were thoroughly studied. The monograph on “Mineral Water of the ArmSSR” was compiled. The soil-hydrochemical method of metal deposit prospecting was granted an award in All-Union competition.
In the 1960s, the Laboratory launched studies of the behavior of elements forming the secondary halos. As a result of those studies, PhD dissertations were completed (P. M. Ghaplanyan, 1962; A. R. Galstyan, 1964; L. A. Grigoryan, 1970; H. V. Shahinyan, 1991). In 1980, the monograph on “The Distribution of Boron in the Mineral Waters of the ArmSSR” was published, which discussed thoroughly the main patterns of boron distribution in the mineral waters over the area of the Republic. Particular emphasis was placed on the  behavior of boron in the major carbonate mineral waters. 
The works on the elaboration of the eco-geochemical atlas of rock formations in the Sevan Basin that had been launched since the 1980s, provided characteristics of waters, soils, rocks, and plants in the basin аnd determined the contents of more than 40 chemical elements in them. Those long-term studies enabled preparation of the Atlas and the monograph on “The Geochemistry of the Natural Waters of the Sevan Basin” that was published in 1997 (authors: P. Ghaplanyan, A. Galstyan, L. Grigoryan, A. Karapetyan, H. Shahinyan, and Ts. Eqsuzyan ).
In the 1990s, the laboratory worked to elaborate the scientific rationale for the national standards of the content of chemical elements in fresh drinking waters. During the recent years, studies and assessment of the influence of mining industry on the environment have been in progress. These works have incorporated studies of fresh drinking waters, streams, soils, and plants. Similar works dealing with the environmental issues, water quality assessment and preservation are currently in progress, too. 
Since 2002, the laboratory has carried out thematic research on hydrochemical composition of fresh drinking waters in different regions of the RA, including those supplied to Yerevan. The aim of these works is the creation of a computer database on the monitoring and studies of hydrochemical composition of waters. The results are presented in reports and articles. 
The laboratory is currently engaged in the studies of the qualitative composition of fresh drinking waters in RA, which aim to characterize the hydrogeochemistry of fresh drinking waters consumed in all populated areas of the RA, as well as to create a hydrogeochemical database. This database will allow solving a number of issues concerning water quality management, as well as examining and assessing the impacts of mining industry on the environment by the method of examinations of secondary halos.     
The laboratory is equipped with classic and certain modern analytical tools and equipment and employs a staff of highy-qualified geologist-geochemists and chemist-analysts who have long-term work experience. To identify about 50 chemical elements and compounds (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg+, Cl-, SO42-, HCO3-, pH, general hardness, general mineralization, general content of oil products, NH4+, NO2-, NO3- As, Cu2+, Pb2+, Zn2+, Cd2+, etc.), advanced hydrochemical and highly credible instrumental methods are applied.