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Article

Natural and Anthropogenic Groundwater Contamination in a Coastal Volcanic-Sedimentary Aquifer: The Case of the Archaeological Site of Cumae (Phlegraean Fields, Southern Italy)

1
Centre for Isotopic Research on Cultural and Environmental Heritage (CIRCE), Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Viale Lincoln 5, 81100 Caserta, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e delle Risorse, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Complesso Universitario di Monte S. Angelo, via Cintia, 80126 Naples, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Complesso Universitario di Monte S. Angelo, via Cintia, 80126 Naples, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3463; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123463
Received: 27 October 2020 / Revised: 4 December 2020 / Accepted: 6 December 2020 / Published: 9 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Focus on the Salinization Issue in the Mediterranean Area)
Archeological sites close to coastal volcanic-sedimentary aquifers are threatened by groundwater contaminated by natural and anthropogenic processes. The paper reports on a hydrogeological, chemical (major, minor and trace elements) and isotopic (δD-H2O, δ18O-H2O, δ15N-NO3, δ18O-NO3, δ11B, 222Rn) survey of groundwater at the Cumae archaeological site, which is located in the coastal north-western sector of the volcanic district of Phlegraean Fields (southern Italy), where groundwater flooding phenomena occur. Results show the presence of a complex coastal volcanic-sedimentary aquifer system where groundwater quality is influenced mainly by: (i) aquifer lithology and localized ascent of magmatic fluids along buried volcano-tectonic discontinuities, (ii) mixing of groundwater, deep mineralized fluids and seawater during groundwater pumping, and (iii) nitrate contamination >50 mg/L from non-point agricultural sources. Moreover, δD and δ18O point toward fast recharge from seasonal precipitations, while the isotopic ratios of N and O in nitrate reveal the contribution of mineral and organic fertilizers as well as leakage from septic tanks. Results can assist the local archaeological authority for the safeguarding and management of the archaeological heritage of the Cumae site. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal volcanic-sedimentary aquifer; natural and anthropogenic contamination; 222Rn; water isotopes; nitrate isotopes; archaeological site; Phlegraean Fields; southern Italy coastal volcanic-sedimentary aquifer; natural and anthropogenic contamination; 222Rn; water isotopes; nitrate isotopes; archaeological site; Phlegraean Fields; southern Italy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stellato, L.; Coda, S.; Arienzo, M.; De Vita, P.; Di Rienzo, B.; D’Onofrio, A.; Ferrara, L.; Marzaioli, F.; Trifuoggi, M.; Allocca, V. Natural and Anthropogenic Groundwater Contamination in a Coastal Volcanic-Sedimentary Aquifer: The Case of the Archaeological Site of Cumae (Phlegraean Fields, Southern Italy). Water 2020, 12, 3463. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123463

AMA Style

Stellato L, Coda S, Arienzo M, De Vita P, Di Rienzo B, D’Onofrio A, Ferrara L, Marzaioli F, Trifuoggi M, Allocca V. Natural and Anthropogenic Groundwater Contamination in a Coastal Volcanic-Sedimentary Aquifer: The Case of the Archaeological Site of Cumae (Phlegraean Fields, Southern Italy). Water. 2020; 12(12):3463. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123463

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stellato, Luisa, Silvio Coda, Michele Arienzo, Pantaleone De Vita, Brunella Di Rienzo, Antonio D’Onofrio, Luciano Ferrara, Fabio Marzaioli, Marco Trifuoggi, and Vincenzo Allocca. 2020. "Natural and Anthropogenic Groundwater Contamination in a Coastal Volcanic-Sedimentary Aquifer: The Case of the Archaeological Site of Cumae (Phlegraean Fields, Southern Italy)" Water 12, no. 12: 3463. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123463

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