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Identification of Sulfate Sources and Biogeochemical Processes in an Aquifer Affected by Peatland: Insights from Monitoring the Isotopic Composition of Groundwater Sulfate in Kampinos National Park, Poland

1
Institute of Geological Sciences Polish Academy of Sciences (ING PAN), Ul. Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland
2
Faculty of Geology, University of Warsaw, Ul. Żwirki i Wigury 93, 02-089 Warsaw, Poland
3
Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, plac M. Curie-Skłodowskiej 1, 20-031 Lublin, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Stanislaw Halas passed away in 2017.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1388; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071388
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 22 June 2019 / Accepted: 29 June 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Water Stable Isotopes in Hydrological Process)
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Abstract

Temporal and spatial variations of the concentration and the isotopic composition of groundwater sulfate in an unconfined sandy aquifer covered by peatland have been studied to better understand the sources and biogeochemical processes that affect sulfate distribution in shallow groundwater systems influenced by organic rich sediments. The groundwater monitoring was carried out for one year at hydrogeological station Pożary located within the protected zone of the Kampinos National Park. Sulfur (δ34SSO4) and oxygen (δ18OSO4) isotopic composition of dissolved sulfates were analyzed together with oxygen (δ18OH2O) and hydrogen (δ2HH2O) isotopic composition of water and major ions concentration at monthly intervals. The research revealed three main sources of sulfates dissolved in groundwater, namely, (a) atmospheric sulfates—supplied to the aquifer by atmospheric deposition (rain and snow melt), (b) sulfates formed by dissolution of evaporite sulfate minerals, mainly gypsum—considerably enriched in 34S and 18O, and (c) sulfate formed during oxidation of reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RIS), mainly pyrite—depleted in 34S and 18O. The final isotopic composition and concentration of dissolved SO42− in groundwater are the result of overlapping processes of dissimilatory sulfate reduction, oxidation of sulfide minerals, and mixing of water in aquifer profile. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxygen isotopes; sulfur isotopes; isotopic composition of water; bacterial sulfate reduction; sulfide oxidation; atmospheric sulfate; peatland; unconfined aquifer; mineralization of organic matter oxygen isotopes; sulfur isotopes; isotopic composition of water; bacterial sulfate reduction; sulfide oxidation; atmospheric sulfate; peatland; unconfined aquifer; mineralization of organic matter
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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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Porowski, A.; Porowska, D.; Halas, S. Identification of Sulfate Sources and Biogeochemical Processes in an Aquifer Affected by Peatland: Insights from Monitoring the Isotopic Composition of Groundwater Sulfate in Kampinos National Park, Poland. Water 2019, 11, 1388.

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