Hydrogeochemical Characteristics of Groundwater Highly Polluted with Nitrate in an Agricultural Area of Hongseong, Korea
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 561-756, Korea
The Earth and Environmental Science System Research Center, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 561-756, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tamas Komives
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
The hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater, in an area where widespread contamination by nitrate (
) was anticipated, were studied using traditional geochemical investigation and multivariate statistical analysis. Widespread
contamination as high as 67.2 mg/L as NO3
–N was observed, and positively correlated with that for chemicals (
, major cations) with surface origin. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that three processes affected groundwater chemistry of the area: (1) leaching of pollutants from the ground surface; (2) reduction of
in areas with low dissolved oxygen (DO); and (3) ingress of low
deep groundwater. Five sample groups were identified from cluster analysis, and analysis of land use patterns around each group showed that fate and distribution of
contamination were mainly controlled by surface topography and predominant land use type. The highest
concentrations were associated with confined livestock feeding operations in hilly terrain areas, where infiltrating water also had high DO. Lower
concentrations found in the lowland flat areas were thought to be due to either reducing conditions in rice paddies leading to N attenuation or drawing in of deep groundwater by pumping to meet agricultural needs during periods of low rainfall.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style
Kim, H.-S.; Park, S.-R. Hydrogeochemical Characteristics of Groundwater Highly Polluted with Nitrate in an Agricultural Area of Hongseong, Korea. Water 2016, 8, 345.
Kim H-S, Park S-R. Hydrogeochemical Characteristics of Groundwater Highly Polluted with Nitrate in an Agricultural Area of Hongseong, Korea. Water. 2016; 8(8):345.
Kim, Hyun-su; Park, So-ra. 2016. "Hydrogeochemical Characteristics of Groundwater Highly Polluted with Nitrate in an Agricultural Area of Hongseong, Korea." Water 8, no. 8: 345.
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