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Article

Recharge and Infiltration Mechanisms of Soil Water in the Floodplain Revealed by Water-Stable Isotopes in the Upper Yellow River

1
College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
Key Laboratory of Resource Environment and Sustainable Development of Oasis, Lanzhou 730070, China
3
Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Department of Physics, University of Patras, GR-265 00 Patras, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mohammad Valipour
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169369
Received: 25 July 2021 / Revised: 15 August 2021 / Accepted: 17 August 2021 / Published: 20 August 2021
The stable isotopes (δD and δ18O) in soil water allow tracing of the flow and transportation of water in the soil. However, there are few studies on the use of soil water stable isotopes to explore the soil water in the floodplain, especially in determining the soil water source and infiltration mechanism. The Bayesian mixing model (MixSIAR) was integrated with the line conditioned excess (lc-excess) of stable isotopes (δD and δ18O) in precipitation, soil water (0–150 cm), river water, and groundwater to determinate the source and recharge mechanisms of two different soil profile types in the floodplain of the upper Yellow River in Lanzhou, China. The results showed that soil water below 80 cm was affected by river water recharge, affecting soil water content and stable isotopic composition at S1 sampling points (profile parallel to river water); this effect was not observed at S2 (profile is higher than the river water) sampling points. The isotopic compositions of the soil water sources at the two sampling points (S1: δD = −77.41‰, δ18O = −11.01‰; S2: δD = −74.02‰, δ18O = −10.56‰) were depleted more than those in the long-term amount-weighted precipitation isotopes (δD = −56.30‰, δ18O = −8.17‰). The isotope signatures of soil water sources are similar to the isotope characteristics of some high-intensity precipitation events (≥30 mm/day), indicating that soil water originates from a fraction of the total precipitation. The piston flow (60%) and the preferential flow (40%) coexist, but soil moisture and rainfall intensity will affect the sequence of the two infiltration methods. This study provides insights for understanding the hydrological process of the upper Yellow River and evaluating groundwater quality and protecting the floodplain environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: stable isotopes; Bayesian mixing model; lc-excess; piston and preferential flow; Yellow River stable isotopes; Bayesian mixing model; lc-excess; piston and preferential flow; Yellow River
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, J.; Zhang, M.; Argiriou, A.A.; Wang, S.; Qu, D.; Zhang, Y.; Su, P. Recharge and Infiltration Mechanisms of Soil Water in the Floodplain Revealed by Water-Stable Isotopes in the Upper Yellow River. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9369. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169369

AMA Style

Wang J, Zhang M, Argiriou AA, Wang S, Qu D, Zhang Y, Su P. Recharge and Infiltration Mechanisms of Soil Water in the Floodplain Revealed by Water-Stable Isotopes in the Upper Yellow River. Sustainability. 2021; 13(16):9369. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169369

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Jiaxin, Mingjun Zhang, Athanassios A. Argiriou, Shengjie Wang, Deye Qu, Yu Zhang, and Pengyan Su. 2021. "Recharge and Infiltration Mechanisms of Soil Water in the Floodplain Revealed by Water-Stable Isotopes in the Upper Yellow River" Sustainability 13, no. 16: 9369. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169369

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