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Open AccessArticle

Application of Multiple Approaches to Investigate the Hydrochemistry Evolution of Groundwater in an Arid Region: Nomhon, Northwestern China

1
State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology & MOE Key Laboratory of Groundwater Circulation and Environment Evolution, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Water Resources & Environment, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(11), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111667
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 3 November 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Resources Assessment: Quantity and Quality)
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Abstract

Groundwater is a critical water resource for human survival and economic development in arid and semi-arid areas. It is crucial to understand the groundwater circulation and hydrochemical evolution for sustainable management and utilization of groundwater resources in those areas. To this end, an investigation of the hydrochemical characteristics of surface water and groundwater was conducted in Nomhon, an arid area located in the Qaidam Basin, northwest China, by using hydrochemical (major and trace elements) and stable isotopes (δD and δ18O) approaches. Stable isotopes and ion ratios were analyzed to determine the recharge sources, hydrochemistry characteristics, and major hydrogeochemical processes. Meanwhile, inverse geochemistry modeling was applied to quantitatively determine the mass transfer of hydrogeochemical processes. The results showed that groundwater in the study area is mainly recharged by atmospheric precipitation in mountainous areas, and the groundwater in the center of basin might originate from ancient water in cold and humid environments. Along the groundwater flow path, the TDS of groundwater increased gradually from fresh to salty (ranging from 462.50 to 19,604.40 mg/L), and the hydrochemical type changed from Cl·HCO3–Na·Mg·Ca to Cl–Na. Groundwater chemical composition and mass balance modeling results indicated that from alluvial fan to lacustrine plain, the main hydrogeochemical processes changed from the dissolution of halite and albite and the precipitation of dolomite and kaolinite to the dissolution of halite and gypsum, precipitation of calcite, redox (SO42− reduction), and cation exchange. This study would be helpful for water resources management in this area and other similar areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater evolution; water–rock interaction; hydrogeochemical modeling; stable isotope groundwater evolution; water–rock interaction; hydrogeochemical modeling; stable isotope
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Yang, N.; Wang, G.; Shi, Z.; Zhao, D.; Jiang, W.; Guo, L.; Liao, F.; Zhou, P. Application of Multiple Approaches to Investigate the Hydrochemistry Evolution of Groundwater in an Arid Region: Nomhon, Northwestern China. Water 2018, 10, 1667.

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