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Open AccessArticle

Phreatic Water Quality Assessment and Associated Hydrogeochemical Processes in an Irrigated Region Along the Upper Yellow River, Northwestern China

1
School of Water Conservancy and Hydropower, Hebei University of Engineering, Handan 056000, China
2
Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3
Geological Bureau of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Yinchuan 750021, China
4
Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
5
Sino-Danish College, Univerisity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 101400, China
6
Ningxia Geological Survey Institute, Yinchuan 750021, China
7
School of Water Resource and Environment, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020463
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 29 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination)
Groundwater resources are playing an increasingly vital role in water supply for domestic and irrigation purposes in the Yinchuan Plain, along with the reduction in water transfer from the Yellow River. This study aimed to identify the current status of phreatic water quality and associated hydrogeochemical processes in an irrigated region along the upper Yellow River. A total of 78 water samples were collected in September 2018 for chemical analysis. Results showed that the phreatic water was excellent or good in most areas west of the Yellow River, while it was poor or very poor quality in some places east of the Yellow River. The nitrate contamination is particularly severe in the pluvial-alluvial plain, relating to the localized fine-grained zone with low permeability. Most samples had no sodium hazard but had magnesium hazard. Additionally, the overall evolutionary trend of the phreatic water showed the transformation of Ca-Mg-HCO3 into Na-Cl-SO4 type. Rock weathering and evaporation jointly predominate the evolution of phreatic water chemistry. The main geochemical processes involve the dissolution/precipitation of gypsum, halite, dolomite. and calcite, along with the cation exchange. Insights from this work have important implications for groundwater sustainable management in such irrigated regions along the upper Yellow River. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater quality; hydrogeochemical processes; water-rock interaction; water quality index; Yellow River irrigated areas groundwater quality; hydrogeochemical processes; water-rock interaction; water quality index; Yellow River irrigated areas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, F.; Zhao, Z.; Yang, L.; Ma, Y.; Li, B.; Gong, L.; Liu, H. Phreatic Water Quality Assessment and Associated Hydrogeochemical Processes in an Irrigated Region Along the Upper Yellow River, Northwestern China. Water 2020, 12, 463.

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