自然资源部岩岩溶动力学重点实验室

Nitrogen budget of a typical subterranean river in peak cluster karst area

2010-01-20KDL 2103

 [Abstract ]  Karst groundwater is one of the important  water resources for people in the world. There is an estimate that by 2028 karst groundwater will supply more than 80% of people in the world. However, several areas in the world are characterized by high nitrate concentrations in karst aquifers. In China, karst groundwater is also threatened by extensive use of fertilizer and pesticides, industry waste, septic systems and poultry, hog or cattle manure. In order to understand the water quality of a subterranean river in south China, especially the dynamic variation of nitrate, nitrogen input and output were determined via auto-monitored apparatus, manual observation and samples from 2004 to 2008 in Guancun subterranean river drainage area. Land use and anthropogenic activities were also investigated frequently. The results showed the range of nitrate variation was 2.56–15.40 mg l-1, with an average value of 6.60 mg l-1. Spatial variation of nitrate concentrations showed nitrate rose where there were villages and agriculture distribution. Long series of nitrate and discharge monitoring revealed there was a nitrate peak in spring just before the beginning of rainy season. Three rainfall events were selected for analysis of relations among hydrological process, water chemistry, and nitrate of the spring. The flood processes of the spring were divided into three or four phases according to change of water level and water chemistry. They were dominated by initial condition of aquifer, piston flow in soil and vadose, piston flow in conduit, diffuse  charge, and bypass recharge. The original condition of aquifer and rainfall pulse controlled recharge flow and changes of nitrate and hydro-chemical graphs of the spring. The quantity of nitrogen input in a year was 66.61 t, and the output was 21.24 t. Nitrogen leaching loss in base flow accounted for 76.11% in a year. Some measures should be taken to protect karst water in the very near future, so that health risks to the local people can be decreased.
[Keywords]  Subterranean river,  Nitrate,  Nitrogen loss,Hydrology  Water chemistry

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