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Geosciences 2018, 8(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8040108

Interpretation of the Factors Defining Groundwater Quality of the Site Subjected to the Wildfire of 2007 in Ilia Prefecture, South-Western Greece

Laboratory of Hydrogeology, Department of Geology, University of Patras, 26504 Rio-Patras, Greece
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Received: 18 February 2018 / Revised: 17 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract

The present study examines the factors that define groundwater quality of a site subjected to the wildfire of 2007 in Ilia Prefecture, Peloponnese. This wildfire was the most severe in Greece in the last decade. An extensive sampling was carried out three months after the fire. Ninety-nine samples were analyzed in the Hydrogeology Laboratory of University of Patras for major and trace elements. The groundwater samples were classified into three hydrochemical types: Ca-HCO3, Ca-HCO3-SO4 and Ca-Na-HCO3. The hydrochemical results, processed using R-type factor analysis, resulted in a three-factor model that did not indicate any wildfire impact. The values of pH and electrical conductivity ranged between the expected levels for the area. The most abundant cations (Ca, Mg, Na, K) and trace elements (Mn, Zn, Cu, Cd, Pb, V) in the ash, occurred in the majority of the groundwater samples at concentrations below the potable limits set by the European Council. The concentrations of NO3, NO2, NH4+, phosphates, and sulphates, where present, were attributed to agricultural land uses of the area. No hydrochemical disturbances were found that could indicate a fire-retardant effect. It is likely that the prominent thickness of the unsaturated zone, of the granular aquifers that prevail in the area, limited the infiltration of the elements and trace elements usually found in abundance in fire ash. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildfire impacts; groundwater quality; Ilia 2007; fire retardants; Peloponnese; Greece wildfire impacts; groundwater quality; Ilia 2007; fire retardants; Peloponnese; Greece
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Dimitriadou, S.; Katsanou, K.; Charalabopoulos, S.; Lambrakis, N. Interpretation of the Factors Defining Groundwater Quality of the Site Subjected to the Wildfire of 2007 in Ilia Prefecture, South-Western Greece. Geosciences 2018, 8, 108.

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