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Roadmap for Determining Natural Background Levels of Trace Metals in Groundwater
Article

A Broad-Scale Method for Estimating Natural Background Levels of Dissolved Components in Groundwater Based on Lithology and Anthropogenic Pressure

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Brgm, Geological Survey of France, 45100 Orléans, France
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Geological Survey of Austria, A-1030 Vienna, Austria
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Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), K 1350 Copenhaguen, Denmark
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Department of Public Health, Research Unit for Environment, Work and Health, Aarhus University, C 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
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Geological Survey of Serbia, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya (ICGC), Parc de Montjuïc, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS), 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME), 28003 Madrid, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Elisabetta Preziosi, Marco Rotiroti, M. Teresa Condesso de Melo and Klaus Hinsby
Water 2021, 13(11), 1531; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111531
Received: 30 March 2021 / Revised: 25 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 29 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Background Levels in Groundwater)
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires EU member states to assess the chemical status of groundwater bodies, a status defined according to threshold values for harmful elements and based on/the natural background level (NBL). The NBL is defined as the expected value of the concentration of elements naturally present in the environment. The aim of this study is to propose a methodology that will be broadly applicable to a wide range of conditions at the regional and national scale. Using a statistical approach, the methodology seeks to determine NBLs for SO4, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, and F based on the lithology of aquifers from which groundwater monitoring data were collected. The methodology was applied in six EU countries to demonstrate validity for a wide range of European regions. An average concentration was calculated for each parameter and chosen water point and linked to a lithology. Based on the dataset created, significant differences between lithologies and pressure categories (urban, agricultural, industrial, and mining) were tested using a nonparametric test. For each parameter, 90th percentiles were calculated to provide an estimation of the maximum natural concentrations possible for each lithology. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural background level; groundwater; water quality; anthropogenic pressure; trace element; groundwater monitoring natural background level; groundwater; water quality; anthropogenic pressure; trace element; groundwater monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lions, J.; Devau, N.; Elster, D.; Voutchkova, D.D.; Hansen, B.; Schullehner, J.; Petrović Pantić, T.; Samolov, K.A.; Camps, V.; Arnó, G.; Herms, I.; Rman, N.; Cerar, S.; Grima, J.; Giménez-Forcada, E.; Luque-Espinar, J.A.; Malcuit, E.; Gourcy, L. A Broad-Scale Method for Estimating Natural Background Levels of Dissolved Components in Groundwater Based on Lithology and Anthropogenic Pressure. Water 2021, 13, 1531. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111531

AMA Style

Lions J, Devau N, Elster D, Voutchkova DD, Hansen B, Schullehner J, Petrović Pantić T, Samolov KA, Camps V, Arnó G, Herms I, Rman N, Cerar S, Grima J, Giménez-Forcada E, Luque-Espinar JA, Malcuit E, Gourcy L. A Broad-Scale Method for Estimating Natural Background Levels of Dissolved Components in Groundwater Based on Lithology and Anthropogenic Pressure. Water. 2021; 13(11):1531. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111531

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lions, Julie, Nicolas Devau, Daniel Elster, Denitza D. Voutchkova, Birgitte Hansen, Jörg Schullehner, Tanja Petrović Pantić, Katarina A. Samolov, Victor Camps, Georgina Arnó, Ignasi Herms, Nina Rman, Sonja Cerar, Juan Grima, Elena Giménez-Forcada, Juan A. Luque-Espinar, Eline Malcuit, and Laurence Gourcy. 2021. "A Broad-Scale Method for Estimating Natural Background Levels of Dissolved Components in Groundwater Based on Lithology and Anthropogenic Pressure" Water 13, no. 11: 1531. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111531

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