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Nitrate as a tracer of groundwater flow in a fractured multilayered aquifer

Knowledge of the processes that control nitrate migration and its geochemical evolution in the subsurface are fundamental for the regional management of polluted aquifers. In this paper, the spatial distribution and transient variations of nitrate concentrations, associated with manure fertilization, are used to depict hydrogeological dynamics within the sedimentary aquifer system of la Plana de Vic in the Osona region of Spain. Flow systems are identified from geological, hydraulic head, hydrochemical and isotopic data, and by considering nitrate itself as a tracer that indicates how flow paths are modified by human pressures. In this area, nitrates move through fractured aquitards in flows induced by groundwater pumping. Moreover, the lack of casing in the boreholes permits a mixing of groundwater from distinct layers inside the wells, which negates any benefits from the low-nitrate groundwater found in the deepest aquifer layers. Therefore, impacts on groundwater quality are related to intensive manure fertilization as well as to inadequate well construction and exploitation strategies

This work was financed by CICYT projects CGL2005-08019-C04-01 and 02 of the SpanishGovernment, and continued under projects CGL2008-06373-C03-01 and 03, and by projects 2009 SGR 103 and 1199 of the Catalan Government, the I3P Programme funded by the EU, the local authorities of the Consell Comarcal d’Osona, the Catalan Water Agency (Agència Catalana de l’Aigua), and the local private livestock raising association (ASSAPORC)

© Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2011, vol. 56, núm. 1, p. 108-122

Taylor and Francis

Author: Menció i Domingo, Anna
Mas-Pla, Josep
Otero Pérez, Neus
Soler i Gil, Albert
Date: 2011 February 1
Abstract: Knowledge of the processes that control nitrate migration and its geochemical evolution in the subsurface are fundamental for the regional management of polluted aquifers. In this paper, the spatial distribution and transient variations of nitrate concentrations, associated with manure fertilization, are used to depict hydrogeological dynamics within the sedimentary aquifer system of la Plana de Vic in the Osona region of Spain. Flow systems are identified from geological, hydraulic head, hydrochemical and isotopic data, and by considering nitrate itself as a tracer that indicates how flow paths are modified by human pressures. In this area, nitrates move through fractured aquitards in flows induced by groundwater pumping. Moreover, the lack of casing in the boreholes permits a mixing of groundwater from distinct layers inside the wells, which negates any benefits from the low-nitrate groundwater found in the deepest aquifer layers. Therefore, impacts on groundwater quality are related to intensive manure fertilization as well as to inadequate well construction and exploitation strategies
This work was financed by CICYT projects CGL2005-08019-C04-01 and 02 of the SpanishGovernment, and continued under projects CGL2008-06373-C03-01 and 03, and by projects 2009 SGR 103 and 1199 of the Catalan Government, the I3P Programme funded by the EU, the local authorities of the Consell Comarcal d’Osona, the Catalan Water Agency (Agència Catalana de l’Aigua), and the local private livestock raising association (ASSAPORC)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 0262-6667 (versió paper)
2150-3435 (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/12929
Language: eng
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Collection: MICYT/2005-2008/CGL2005-08019-C04-02
MEC/PN 2009-2011/CGL2008-06373-C03-03
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2010.543086
Articles publicats (D-CCAA)
Is part of: © Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2011, vol. 56, núm. 1, p. 108-122
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Nitrats -- Contaminació
Nitrates -- Pollution
Hidrodinàmica
Hydrodynamics
Aqüífers -- Contaminació
Aquifers -- Pollution
Title: Nitrate as a tracer of groundwater flow in a fractured multilayered aquifer
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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