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Open AccessArticle

Using Water Stable Isotopes for Identifying Groundwater Recharge Sources of the Unconfined Alluvial Zagreb Aquifer (Croatia)

1
Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, University of Zagreb, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
Ruđer Bošković Institute, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102177
Received: 11 September 2019 / Revised: 16 October 2019 / Accepted: 17 October 2019 / Published: 19 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions)
The main purpose of this study was to understand the interactions between precipitation, surface water, and groundwater in the Zagreb aquifer system using water stable isotopes. The Zagreb aquifer is of the unconfined type and strongly hydraulically connected to the Sava River. As the groundwater is the main source of drinking water for one million inhabitants, it is essential to investigate each detail of the recharge processes of the aquifer to ensure adequate protection of the groundwater. Measuring the content of water stable isotopes in surface waters and groundwater enabled the creation of two- and three-component mixing models based on the isotopic mass balance for the purpose of the quantification of each recharge component. The mixing models gave ambiguous results. Observation wells equally distant from the Sava River did not have the same recharge component ratio. This indicated that there were more factors (in addition to the distance from the river) that were affecting groundwater recharge, and the properties of the unsaturated zone and surface cover data were therefore also taken into consideration. The thickness of the unsaturated zone and the characteristics of different soil types were identified as important factors in the recharge of the Zagreb aquifer. The areas with high thickness of the unsaturated zone and well-permeable soil had a very similar recharge component ratio to the areas with small thickness of the unsaturated zone but low-permeable soil. View Full-Text
Keywords: Zagreb aquifer; Sava River; groundwater–surface water interaction; water stable isotopes; soil properties Zagreb aquifer; Sava River; groundwater–surface water interaction; water stable isotopes; soil properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Parlov, J.; Kovač, Z.; Nakić, Z.; Barešić, J. Using Water Stable Isotopes for Identifying Groundwater Recharge Sources of the Unconfined Alluvial Zagreb Aquifer (Croatia). Water 2019, 11, 2177. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102177

AMA Style

Parlov J, Kovač Z, Nakić Z, Barešić J. Using Water Stable Isotopes for Identifying Groundwater Recharge Sources of the Unconfined Alluvial Zagreb Aquifer (Croatia). Water. 2019; 11(10):2177. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102177

Chicago/Turabian Style

Parlov, Jelena; Kovač, Zoran; Nakić, Zoran; Barešić, Jadranka. 2019. "Using Water Stable Isotopes for Identifying Groundwater Recharge Sources of the Unconfined Alluvial Zagreb Aquifer (Croatia)" Water 11, no. 10: 2177. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102177

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