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Effects of Farming Activities on the Temporal and Spatial Changes of Hydrogen and Oxygen Isotopes Present in Groundwater in the Hani Rice Terraces, Southwest China

School of Tourism and Geographical Sciences, Yunnan Normal University, No. 768 Juxian Street, Chenggong District, Kunming 650500, China
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Water 2020, 12(1), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010265
Received: 16 December 2019 / Revised: 12 January 2020 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 17 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
Landform changes caused by human activities can directly affect the recharge of groundwater, and are reflected in the temporal and spatial changes in groundwater stable isotope composition. These changes are particularly evident in high-intensity farming areas. In this study, we tested and analyzed groundwater stable isotope samples at different elevations of rice terraces in a typical agricultural watershed of the Hani Terraces, a World Heritage Cultural Landscape in southwest China. Thus, we determined the characteristic variations and factors that influence the temporal and spatial effects on groundwater stable isotopes in the Hani Terraces, which are under the influence of high-intensity farming activities. The elevation gradients of δ18O and δ2H in groundwater are significantly increased due to farming activities. The values were 0.88‰ (100 m)−1 and −4.5‰ (100 m)−1, respectively, and they changed with time. The groundwater circulation cycle is approximately three months. We also used the special temporal and spatial variation characteristics of the groundwater isotopes as a way to evaluate the source and periodic changes of groundwater recharge. In addition, high-intensity rice farming activities, such as ploughing every year from October to January can increase the supply of terraced water to groundwater, thus ensuring the sustainability of rice cultivation in the terraces during the dry season. This demonstrates the role of human wisdom in the sustainable and benign transformation of surface cover and the regulation of groundwater circulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hani Rice Terraces; hydrogen and oxygen isotopes; groundwater recharge; elevation effect; deuterium excess Hani Rice Terraces; hydrogen and oxygen isotopes; groundwater recharge; elevation effect; deuterium excess
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Liu, C.; Jiao, Y.; Zhao, D.; Ding, Y.; Liu, Z.; Xu, Q. Effects of Farming Activities on the Temporal and Spatial Changes of Hydrogen and Oxygen Isotopes Present in Groundwater in the Hani Rice Terraces, Southwest China. Water 2020, 12, 265.

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