Water environment research : a research publication of the Water Environment Federation

Effects of recharge and discharge on delta2H and delta18O composition and chloride concentration of high arsenic/fluoride groundwater from the Datong Basin, northern China.

PMID 23472327


To better understand the effects of recharge and discharge on the hydrogeochemistry of high levels of arsenic (As) and fluoride (F) in groundwater, environmental isotopic composition (delta2H and delta18O) and chloride (Cl) concentrations were analyzed in 29 groundwater samples collected from the Datong Basin. High arsenic groundwater samples (As > 50 micog/L) were found to be enriched in lighter isotopic composition that ranged from -92 to -78 per thousand for deuterium (delta2H) and from -12.5 to -9.9 per thousand for oxygen-18 (delta18O). High F-containing groundwater (F > 1 mg/L) was relatively enriched in heavier isotopic composition and varied from -90 to -57 per thousand and from -12.2 to -6.7 per thousand for delta2H and delta18O, respectively. High chloride concentrations and delta18O values were primarily measured in groundwater samples from the northern and southwestern portions of the study area, indicating the effect of evaporation on groundwater. The observation of relatively homogenized and low delta18O values and chloride concentrations in groundwater samples from central part of the Datong Basin might be a result of fast recharge by irrigation returns, which suggests that irrigation using arsenic-contaminated groundwater affected the occurrence of high arsenic-containing groundwater in the basin.