Topic Editors

College of Earth Science and Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China
College of Earth Science and Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China

Human Impact on Groundwater Environment

Abstract submission deadline
15 September 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
15 November 2024
Viewed by
24112

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Topic aims to gather novel and innovative works of general interest for the broad audience of the journal related to the environmental implications of ever-growing human activities, with a particular emphasis on the changes these are inducing on groundwater. Global demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by 40% in 2030 and 55% in 2050 as a result of climate change, a rising population, economic growth, rapid urbanization, and increased water–energy–food nexus pressures. Humans are thus now facing the critical challenge of preserving our groundwater resources from biological and chemical contamination induced by its own point and diffuse sources. Addressing this challenge will require a holistic system approach by addressing new issues and emerging contaminants, as well as multiple embedded exposures to ultimately be able to achieve a comprehensive environmental and human health risk assessment.

Consequently, the contributions to this Topic will encompass a broad spectrum of topics in human impact on groundwater resources, including but not limited to: Emerging topics dealing with water resource vulnerability and human impact, including emerging and chemical contaminants; Advances in analytical techniques to monitor and identify sources and processes controlling the budget of human contaminants in water resources; Advances in hydrological processes and hydrodynamic models for investigating water vulnerability to human impact; Analysis of urban growth consequences for water resources and water management; Remote sensing applications for water vulnerability assessment; Linkage between water vulnerability, scarcity, security, and sustainability.

In this Topic, we aim to fill gaps on the application of hydrochemistry (including measurements of radioactive and stable isotope ratios, nutrients, trace elements, and organic components) on environmental research by asking for manuscripts which constitute original contributions on studies developing applications in hydrogeology, nutrient balances, pollution, environmental changes, as well as modeling or empirical studies aimed at improving our mechanistic understanding of short- and long-term chemical variations in global hydrological systems. The submission of inter- and multidisciplinary original research and review papers is particularly encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Zongjun Gao
Dr. Jiutan Liu
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • groundwater resources
  • human impact
  • contaminants
  • vulnerability
  • hydrogeology
  • environmental health

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Energies
energies
3.0 6.2 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Hydrology
hydrology
3.1 4.9 2014 17.8 Days CHF 1800 Submit
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
4.2 8.3 2009 23 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.3 6.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Water
water
3.0 5.8 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Earth
earth
2.1 3.3 2020 17.6 Days CHF 1200 Submit

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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20 pages, 13040 KiB  
Article
Influence of Structural Symmetry of Fault Zones on Fluid-Induced Fault Slips and Earthquakes
by Zhiyong Niu and Bing Bai
Water 2024, 16(8), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16081118 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 684
Abstract
Subsurface fluid injection and extraction can reactivate faults and induce earthquakes. In current research, faults are typically described as symmetrical structures and the presence of asymmetric structures is often overlooked. The reality is that numerous asymmetric faults exist within the Earth’s crust. The [...] Read more.
Subsurface fluid injection and extraction can reactivate faults and induce earthquakes. In current research, faults are typically described as symmetrical structures and the presence of asymmetric structures is often overlooked. The reality is that numerous asymmetric faults exist within the Earth’s crust. The architectural and permeability characteristics of fault zones differ significantly between symmetrical and asymmetrical faults. These differences may have a great influence on fault stability during fluid injection or extraction. In this study, the impact of fault zone structures on fluid-induced slips and seismic activity were investigated through numerical analysis. The findings indicated that symmetrical faults were more likely to induce larger slips and earthquakes during various subsurface fluid operations. For asymmetric faults, larger induced slips occurred when fluid was operated in a hanging wall reservoir than in a footwall reservoir. In symmetrical faults, the opposite was true. When evaluating the stability of a fault in subsurface fluid engineering, the fault structure and fluid pattern and their combined effects must be considered comprehensively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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14 pages, 3404 KiB  
Article
The Challenge Posed by Emerging Environmental Contaminants: An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Phenoxyethanol Biological Removal from Groundwater through Mesocosm Experiments
by Laura Ducci, Pietro Rizzo, Antonio Bucci, Riccardo Pinardi, Pamela Monaco and Fulvio Celico
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 2183; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16052183 - 6 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
The occurrence of emerging pollutants (EPs) such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) has raised serious concerns about the possible adverse effects on ecosystem integrity and human health. Wastewater treatment facilities appear to be the main sources of PPCPs released in aquatic [...] Read more.
The occurrence of emerging pollutants (EPs) such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) has raised serious concerns about the possible adverse effects on ecosystem integrity and human health. Wastewater treatment facilities appear to be the main sources of PPCPs released in aquatic environments. This research examines the effectiveness of groundwater microbial community activities to remove phenoxyethanol (Phy-Et), currently exploited as a preservative in many cosmetic formulations at a maximum concentration of 1% but which has shown, at higher levels of exposure, adverse systemic effects on animals. Mesocosm experiments were carried out for 28 days using two different concentrations of the substance (5.2 mg/L and 27.4 mg/L). The main results obtained through chemical and microbiological investigations revealed a significant Phy-Et reduction (≈100% when added at a concentration of 5.2 mg/L and ≈84% when added at a concentration of 27.4 mg/L), demonstrating that some autochthonous microorganisms in the analyzed samples played a “key role” in removing this compound, despite its proven antimicrobial activity. Nevertheless, the decrease in the “natural attenuation” efficacy (≈16%) when using higher concentrations of the chemical suggests the existence of a “dose-dependent effect” of Phy-Et on the process of biodegradation. Biomolecular investigations carried out through next-generation sequencing (NGS) revealed (i) the presence of a significant fraction of hidden microbial diversity to unravel, (ii) variations of the composition and species abundance of the groundwater microbial communities induced by Phy-Et, and (iii) a biodiversity reduction trend correlated to the increase of Phy-Et concentrations. Overall, the preliminary information obtained from the experiments carried out at the laboratory scale appears encouraging, although it reflects only partially the complexity of the phenomena that occur in natural environments and influences their “auto-purification capability”. Accordingly, this research paves the way for more in-depth investigations to develop appropriate tools and protocols to evaluate the occurrence and fate of Phy-Et in nature and assess the impact of its release and the effects of long-term exposure (even at low concentrations) on ecosystems and health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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17 pages, 3030 KiB  
Article
Source Apportionment and Health Risk Assessment of Groundwater Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) Pollution Characteristics in an Accident Site in Zhangqiu, China
by Min Wang, Xiaoyu Song, Yu Han, Guantao Ding, Ruilin Zhang, Shanming Wei, Shuai Gao and Yuxiang Liu
Water 2024, 16(5), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16050768 - 4 Mar 2024
Viewed by 857
Abstract
In order to understand the pollution degree and source of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in groundwater around the accident site and evaluate their harm to human health, 22 groundwater samples were collected around the accident well, and the contents of As, Cd, Cr, [...] Read more.
In order to understand the pollution degree and source of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in groundwater around the accident site and evaluate their harm to human health, 22 groundwater samples were collected around the accident well, and the contents of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn, CH2Cl2 and C2H4Cl2 were determined. On the basis of water quality evaluation, the source apportionment method combining qualitative and quantitative analysis was used to determine the main sources of PTEs in the region, and the health risk assessment model was used to evaluate the health risk of PTEs to the human body. The results show that pH, TDS, Th and COD all exceed the standard to varying degrees, among which TH is the index with the largest number exceeding the standard. The quality of the groundwater environment in the study area is at a very poor level, and the F value is between 7.25 and 8.49. The exposure results model showed that there was no non-carcinogenic risk of PTEs in the study area, and the health risk of oral intake in the exposed population was greater than that of skin contact. Compared with adults, children were more vulnerable to the health risk stress of PTEs in groundwater. The total carcinogenic risk is higher than the total non-carcinogenic risk. As, Cd and Cr are the primary factors causing carcinogenic health risks in this area. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to analyze the sources of PTEs in groundwater, and three principal components were extracted. It was preliminarily determined that PTE pollution was mainly related to agricultural sources, anthropogenic industrial sources and industrial sedimentation sources. The results of positive definite factor matrix analysis (PMF) were basically similar to those of PCA, but PMF further clarified the contribution rate of three pollution sources, among which agricultural sources contributed the most to the accumulation of PTEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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16 pages, 1104 KiB  
Review
Influencing Factors and Evaluation of Groundwater Ecological Function in Arid/Semiarid Regions of China: A Review
by Haohao Cui, Mingjiang Yan, Qian Wang, Guanghui Zhang, Huimin Feng and Xujuan Lang
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041631 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
In arid and semi-arid areas, due to drought climate and shortage of water resources, groundwater is crucial for natural ecological protection and economic development. It serves a dual role as a resource function and an ecological function. However, with the continuous improvement of [...] Read more.
In arid and semi-arid areas, due to drought climate and shortage of water resources, groundwater is crucial for natural ecological protection and economic development. It serves a dual role as a resource function and an ecological function. However, with the continuous improvement of the exploitation and utilization of groundwater by human activities during rapid economic development, the phenomenon of groundwater overexploitation is becoming more and more serious, which has destroyed the natural balance of groundwater recharge and discharge. As a result, natural vegetation has lost the maintenance of the ecological function of groundwater, and a series of ecological and environmental problems have occurred, such as natural vegetation degradation, land desertification, sandstorms, and so on. In recent years, scholars have carried out research on groundwater resource management and optimization of water resource allocation, trying to solve the problem of water balance in arid regions. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding and systematization regarding influencing factors and degeneration mechanisms related to groundwater’s ecological function. By summarizing and analyzing the previous research results, this paper summarizes the influencing factors, evaluation methods, existing problems and future directions of groundwater ecological function research in China to provide a reference for rational exploitation and utilization of groundwater and ecological protection. This paper is divided into four main contents. The first part introduces the definition of groundwater ecological function (GEF); the second part summarizes the research status of influencing factors of GEF, including the groundwater table depth, vegetation root system and lithologic structure of vadose zone, etc.; the third part analyzes the evaluation of groundwater ecological function; the fourth part discusses the existing problems in the study of groundwater ecological functions, and based on the above research the evaluation framework of GEF is proposed with the Shiyang River basin as a case study; and finally, it highlights the future research directions about GEF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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17 pages, 17349 KiB  
Article
Hydrochemical Characteristics, Controlling Factors and Strontium Enrichment Sources of Groundwater in the Northwest Plain of Shandong Province, China
by Jingpeng Chen, Xiaohua Wu, Jichu Zhao, Shuai Liu, Yuqi Zhang, Jiutan Liu and Zongjun Gao
Water 2024, 16(4), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16040550 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 809
Abstract
To elucidate the hydrochemical characteristics, controlling factors, sources and mechanisms of strontium ion enrichment in groundwater in the northwest plain of Shandong Province, China, 88 groundwater samples were collected, including 51 shallow pore groundwater samples, 29 deep pore groundwater samples and 8 karst [...] Read more.
To elucidate the hydrochemical characteristics, controlling factors, sources and mechanisms of strontium ion enrichment in groundwater in the northwest plain of Shandong Province, China, 88 groundwater samples were collected, including 51 shallow pore groundwater samples, 29 deep pore groundwater samples and 8 karst groundwater samples. The hydrochemical characteristics of the different types of groundwater were quite different. The karst groundwater samples were all fresh water with a single hydrochemical type, either HCO3-Ca or HCO3-Ca·Mg. The deep pore groundwater samples were mainly brackish water, and the shallow pore groundwater samples were brackish water–salt water, which has complex hydrochemical types. The hydrochemical characteristics of all the types of groundwater were controlled by mineral dissolution and active positive cation exchange. In shallow pore groundwater, deep pore groundwater and karst groundwater, the dissolution of silicate, evaporite and carbonate minerals dominated the hydrogeochemical process. The strontium in groundwater was derived from the dissolution of minerals with strontium isomorphism. The average contents of strontium in shallow, deep and karst groundwater were 1.59 mg/L, 0.58 mg/L and 0.50 mg/L, respectively. The strontium in shallow pore groundwater was mainly derived from the enrichment of groundwater runoff, and its sources are abundant, with silicic rock being the main source. The deep pore groundwater mainly derived from the evaporative minerals containing strontium, and the karst water mainly derived from carbonate rock dissolution with similar characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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19 pages, 8060 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Groundwater Vulnerability of Yishu River Basin Based on DRASTIC-GIS Model
by Jiaqi Hu, Peng Yang, Qiang Li, Min Wang, Jianguo Feng, Zongjun Gao and Jiutan Liu
Water 2024, 16(3), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16030429 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 951
Abstract
The evaluation of vulnerability is a crucial aspect in the sustainable development, utilization, and preservation of groundwater resources. This study utilizes a comprehensive approach, integrating systematic analysis of hydrogeological conditions and the utilization of observed and collected data. The evaluation of groundwater vulnerability [...] Read more.
The evaluation of vulnerability is a crucial aspect in the sustainable development, utilization, and preservation of groundwater resources. This study utilizes a comprehensive approach, integrating systematic analysis of hydrogeological conditions and the utilization of observed and collected data. The evaluation of groundwater vulnerability in the Yishu River Basin (YRB) was conducted by employing the DRASTIC model, along with the zone overlay function of GIS software. Seven evaluation indicators were considered in this assessment. The findings demonstrate that the groundwater vulnerability in the YRB can be categorized into five divisions: excellent, good, medium, poor, and very poor, accounting for 14.5%, 42.3%, 27.9%, 14.0%, and 1.3% respectively. The areas with low vulnerability are predominantly located in the eastern part of the study area, covering the largest proportion of the total area. Conversely, areas with high vulnerability are found alongside both banks of the Shu River, forming narrow strips. Although these areas have smaller overall coverage, they contain dispersed water sources that require careful attention. These research findings provide valuable scientific insights and serve as a reference for urban planning, land use management, and groundwater resource protection in the YRB. The formulation and adoption of targeted protection measures in accordance with different groundwater vulnerability zoning, the formulation of scientific groundwater resource development and utilization programs, and execution of land resource planning are of great significance from the perspective of groundwater resource protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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13 pages, 2769 KiB  
Article
Estimating Thermal Impact on Groundwater Systems from Heat Pump Technologies: A Simplified Method for High Flow Rates
by David Krcmar, Tibor Kovacs, Matej Molnar, Kamila Hodasova and Martin Zatlakovic
Hydrology 2023, 10(12), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology10120225 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1564
Abstract
This research delves into the potential thermal effects on underground water systems caused by the use of thermal technologies involving extraction and injection wells. We developed a unique approach that combines straightforward calculations with computer-based modeling to evaluate thermal impacts when water flow [...] Read more.
This research delves into the potential thermal effects on underground water systems caused by the use of thermal technologies involving extraction and injection wells. We developed a unique approach that combines straightforward calculations with computer-based modeling to evaluate thermal impacts when water flow rates exceed 2 L/s. Our model, based on a system with two wells and a steady water flow, was used to pinpoint the area around the thermal technology where the temperature varied by more than 1 °C. Our findings suggest that the data-based relationships we derived from our model calculations provide a cautious estimate of the size of the affected area, or ‘thermal cloud’. However, it is important to note that our model’s assumptions might not fully account for the complex variables present in real-world underground water systems. This highlights a need for more research and testing. A key contribution of our study is the development of a new method to assess the thermal impact of operations involving heat pumps. In conclusion, while our proposed method needs more fine-tuning, it shows promise in estimating temperature changes within water-bearing rock layers, or aquifers. This is crucial in the effective use of thermal technologies while also ensuring the protection and sustainable management of our underground water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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12 pages, 967 KiB  
Article
Heavy Metal Content Characteristics and Pollution Source Analysis of Shallow Groundwater in Tengzhou Coal Mining Area
by Beibei Yan, Qianqian Wei, Xinfeng Li, Xiaoyu Song, Zongjun Gao, Jiutan Liu, Ruilin Zhang and Min Wang
Water 2023, 15(23), 4091; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15234091 - 25 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
This study analyzed the sources of total metal elements using the positive matrix factorization (PMF) model and conducted human health risk assessment for adults and children using the health risk assessment model recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). According to [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the sources of total metal elements using the positive matrix factorization (PMF) model and conducted human health risk assessment for adults and children using the health risk assessment model recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). According to the health risk assessment, As is the main contributor to the non-carcinogenic risk of groundwater in Tengzhou, with drinking water as the main exposure route. Regarding carcinogenic risks (CR), the values of As and Cr for adults and children were higher than 1 × 10−4, with drinking water as the main exposure route. Therefore, As is the largest contributor to the CR of groundwater for adults and children and drinking water is the main exposure route in the study area. The primary exposure pathways are oral intake and dermal contact, with oral intake presenting a significant risk. The carcinogenic risks according to principal component analysis (PCA) and PMF analysis showed that the main sources of heavy metals in shallow groundwater in Tengzhou City are agricultural, industrial, natural, and industrial deposition sources, with contribution rates of 21.7%, 27.2%, 31.0%, and 20.1%, respectively. In particular, natural sources are the largest contributor to the accumulation of heavy metals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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17 pages, 3725 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Study on the Hydrogeochemical and Isotope Characteristics and Genetic Mechanism of Geothermal Water in the Northern Jinan Region
by Zongjun Gao, Mengyuan Hao, Jiutan Liu, Qiang Li, Menghan Tan and Yiru Niu
Energies 2023, 16(22), 7658; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16227658 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Geothermal water (GW) resources are highly valued as clean, renewable energy sources. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of water chemistry and isotope data from 25 GW samples was conducted to gain insights into the hydrochemical characteristics and formation mechanisms of the GW [...] Read more.
Geothermal water (GW) resources are highly valued as clean, renewable energy sources. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of water chemistry and isotope data from 25 GW samples was conducted to gain insights into the hydrochemical characteristics and formation mechanisms of the GW in the northern Jinan region (NJR). Statistical analysis and hydrochemical methods were employed for relevant analysis. The findings reveal that the GW in the NJR exhibits high salinity, with an average total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration of 9009.00 mg/L. The major ions identified are Na+ and Cl, with mean concentrations of 2829.73 mg/L and 4425.77 mg/L, respectively, resulting in a hydrochemical type of ClNa. The analysis of δ2H and δ18O isotopes indicates that the GW originates from atmospheric precipitation that undergoes deep cycling and interaction with older groundwater. The composition of 3H suggests that the GW in the NJR is a mixture of waters, while radiocarbon dating (14C) suggests that the recharge of the GW may have occurred in the late Pleistocene era. The GW in the NJR is classified as partially equilibrated waters. The temperature range of geothermal reservoirs is 57.13 to 99.74 °C. The hydrochemical components primarily result from water–rock interactions, including silicate weathering, cation exchange, as well as carbonate weathering and the dissolution of halite and gypsum. Moreover, taking into account the hydrogeological conditions, hydrochemistry, and isotope analysis, a conceptual model of the geothermal reservoir in the NJR was developed. The research findings serve as a valuable reference and foundation for the development and utilization of geothermal resources in the Jinan region. These originate from the Taiyi mountains in the south or the Taihang mountains in the west, and experience deep circulation and long runoff times. This study provides a reference for the sustainable development and utilization of regional geothermal resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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13 pages, 587 KiB  
Article
Protecting Cape Town’s Groundwater from Fuel Stations: An In-Depth Analysis of Regulatory Requirements
by Eden Alexandre Nsimba, Ntokozo Malaza and Thandazile Marazula
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 15135; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152015135 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1363
Abstract
In the face of mounting water supply challenges, Cape Town has increasingly turned to alternative sources, like groundwater. However, the utilisation of groundwater carries inherent risks, particularly the contamination stemming from land-based activities, such as fuel stations. Leaks from underground tanks at these [...] Read more.
In the face of mounting water supply challenges, Cape Town has increasingly turned to alternative sources, like groundwater. However, the utilisation of groundwater carries inherent risks, particularly the contamination stemming from land-based activities, such as fuel stations. Leaks from underground tanks at these stations represent a major global cause of groundwater pollution, and Cape Town is no exception. To safeguard public health and mitigate potential harm, it is imperative to examine the legal regulations governing fuel station development, assess measures for controlling their environmental impacts and evaluate strategies for managing the associated risks. This study aims to provide an exhaustive review of the regulatory framework concerning the environmental impacts of fuel stations, focusing on groundwater protection in Cape Town. A combination of desk research and interviews was employed to gather and analyse data. The findings show a deficiency in precautionary measures for safeguarding groundwater near fuel stations. Consequently, through this study, the existing legal framework’s effectiveness is called into question, with this study suggesting actions to address these identified shortcomings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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18 pages, 13736 KiB  
Article
Response Characteristics and Water Inflow Prediction of Complex Groundwater Systems under High-Intensity Coal Seam Mining Conditions
by Zhaolai Hua, Yao Zhang, Shihao Meng, Lu Wang, Xuejun Wang, Yang Lv, Jinming Li, Shaofeng Ren, Han Bao, Zhihao Zhang, Linger Zhao and Yifan Zeng
Water 2023, 15(19), 3376; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15193376 - 26 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1069
Abstract
With the gradual improvement in coal mining efficiency, the disturbance of groundwater systems caused by high-intensity mining also increases, leading to challenges in maintaining mine safety and protecting water resources in mining areas. How to accurately describe the dynamic changes in the groundwater [...] Read more.
With the gradual improvement in coal mining efficiency, the disturbance of groundwater systems caused by high-intensity mining also increases, leading to challenges in maintaining mine safety and protecting water resources in mining areas. How to accurately describe the dynamic changes in the groundwater system under mining and quantitatively predict mine water inflow are currently major problems to be addressed. Based on a full analysis of the response characteristics of a groundwater system to the extraction disturbance, this paper presents a new method to establish a mine hydrogeological conceptual model that can accurately represent the water inrush process. The unstructured-grid package of MODFLOW is used to accurately characterize the formation structure and finally make accurate water inflow predictions. Taking the Caojiatan coal mine in Shaanxi Province, China, as an example, a numerical model of unstructured water inflow is established, and the changes in the water inflow source and intensity are quantitatively evaluated. Compared with the traditional water inflow prediction method, the prediction accuracy of the new model is improved by 12–17%, which is achieved by detailing the response of the complex groundwater system under high-intensity mining conditions. The method presented in this paper has great significance and applicatory value for obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the disturbance characteristics of human underground engineering activities (e.g., coal mining) on groundwater systems, as well as accurately predicting water inflow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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15 pages, 5483 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Potential Impact on Shallow Groundwater Quality of Oily Wastewater Injection in Deep Petroleum Reservoirs: A Multidisciplinary Evaluation at the Val d’Agri Oilfield (Southern Italy)
by Pietro Rizzo, Antonio Bucci, Pamela Monaco, Anna Maria Sanangelantoni, Gino Naclerio, Mattia Rossi, Paola Iacumin, Federica Bianchi, Claudio Mucchino, Nicolò Riboni, Dario Avagliano, Francesco Coraggio, Antonella Caputi and Fulvio Celico
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9161; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129161 - 6 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1520
Abstract
The increase in oil production from petroleum reservoirs has led to studies examining the effects of these activities on groundwater quality. Oily wastewater associated with oil production is often reinjected through abandoned wells into the unproductive portions of the reservoir to avoid its [...] Read more.
The increase in oil production from petroleum reservoirs has led to studies examining the effects of these activities on groundwater quality. Oily wastewater associated with oil production is often reinjected through abandoned wells into the unproductive portions of the reservoir to avoid its discharge on the surface. The reinjection process is designed to be environmentally friendly and to exclude direct interactions between injected fluids and the surrounding groundwater; nevertheless, the evaluation of the compatibility between this process and the protection of the surrounding environment is of utmost importance when oilfields are located within sensitive and protected areas. The present work aimed to evaluate the impact of the oily wastewater reinjection into a long-term and high-rate disposal well in the Val d’Agri oilfield (Southern Italy). Previous preliminary investigations carried out at the study site led researchers to hypothesize the possible hydrocarbon contamination of the shallower aquifer caused by reinjection well integrity issues. Our strategy is based on an integrated and multidisciplinary approach involving isotopic (stable isotopes 2H and 18O), chemical, and microbiological (characterization of bacterial and archaeal communities) analyses. After a comprehensive and meticulous examination of the research data, it has been ascertained that significant discrepancies exist between the shallow and reinjection water systems. This allowed us to clarify the area’s complex flow dynamics and exclude hydrocarbon contamination of spring waters caused by the reinjection process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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15 pages, 17378 KiB  
Article
Estimation of Nitrate Background Value in Groundwater under the Long-Term Human Impact
by Patricia Buškulić, Jelena Parlov, Zoran Kovač and Zoran Nakić
Hydrology 2023, 10(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology10030063 - 4 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1604
Abstract
This study demonstrates an approach to estimate the background value of nitrate as a basis for better groundwater management and protection in areas under long-term human impact. The aim was to determine the ambient background value (ABV) of nitrate in the catchment area [...] Read more.
This study demonstrates an approach to estimate the background value of nitrate as a basis for better groundwater management and protection in areas under long-term human impact. The aim was to determine the ambient background value (ABV) of nitrate in the catchment area of the Velika Gorica well field, a hydrogeologically homogeneous area within the Zagreb aquifer. ABVs are determined using four well-known model-based objective methods (the iterative 2-σ technique, IT; the calculated distribution function, CDF; the cumulative frequency curve, CFC; and the probability plot, PP), while simultaneously testing the reliability of the results of each method. If the results are not statistically significant, data selection is performed. The results show that using data without selection can lead to statistically non-significant ABVs, but with the additional selection of data, a statistically non-significant result became a statistically significant one. In summary, all final ABVs must be statistically significant and determined using as large a data set as possible. Reducing the size of the data set is acceptable only in the case of a statistically non-significant result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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20 pages, 8031 KiB  
Article
Hydrogeochemical Characteristics, Water Quality, and Human Health Risks of Groundwater in Wulian, North China
by Min Wang, Wenxiu Zhang, Peng Yang, Jianguo Feng, Ruilin Zhang, Zongjun Gao, Hongjie Jin, Xiaoyu Song and Xiaobing Gao
Water 2023, 15(2), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15020359 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
Groundwater shortage and pollution are critical issues of global concern. In Wulian County, a typical hilly area, groundwater is the main source of water supply. This study investigates the current situation of groundwater pollution in Wulian City through the analysis of groundwater water [...] Read more.
Groundwater shortage and pollution are critical issues of global concern. In Wulian County, a typical hilly area, groundwater is the main source of water supply. This study investigates the current situation of groundwater pollution in Wulian City through the analysis of groundwater water chemistry characteristics, water quality evaluation, and health risk evaluation. After the analysis of the controlling factors of chemical components in groundwater and the analysis of ion sources, the main ion sources in groundwater were determined. The results showed that the major cations in groundwater were Ca2+ and Na+ and the major anions were HCO3 and SO42−. Nevertheless, NO3 exceeded the standard to different degrees in pore water (PW), fissure pore water (FPW), and fissure water (FW). The minimum NO3 concentration exceeded the standard in FW. Under the influence of rock weathering and salt rock dissolution, the main hydrochemical types of groundwater were the HCO3-Ca, HCO3-Ca·Mg, and SO4·Cl-Ca·Mg types. According to the water quality evaluation and health risk assessment, the FW area in the south had the highest water quality, where Class I water appeared and potable water was more widely distributed. The PW and FPW areas in the north had lower water quality, with higher health risks. Category V water gradually appeared in the FPW area, which is not suitable as a water supply source. Factor analysis and ion ratio analysis showed that the study area is strongly affected by anthropogenic factors. These research methods have important reference value to the research of groundwater pollution status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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17 pages, 5860 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of the Wormhole Propagation in Fractured Carbonate Rocks during Acidization Using a Thermal-Hydrologic-Mechanics-Chemical Coupled Model
by Piyang Liu, Chaoping Huang, Lijing Jia, Weijing Ji, Zhao Zhang and Kai Zhang
Water 2022, 14(24), 4117; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244117 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2460
Abstract
Acidizing is a widely adopted approach for stimulating carbonate reservoirs. The two-scale continuum (TSC) model is the most widely used model for simulating the reactive process in a carbonate reservoir during acidizing. In realistic cases, there are overburden pressure and pore pressure at [...] Read more.
Acidizing is a widely adopted approach for stimulating carbonate reservoirs. The two-scale continuum (TSC) model is the most widely used model for simulating the reactive process in a carbonate reservoir during acidizing. In realistic cases, there are overburden pressure and pore pressure at present. When the injected acid reacts with the rock, the dissolution of the rock and the consumption of the acid in the pore will break the mechanical balance of the rock. Many experimental studies show that cores after acidizing have lower strength. However, it is still not clear how the deformation of rocks by the change of ground stress influences the acidizing dynamics. For fractured carbonate reservoirs, fractures play a leading role in the flow of injected acid, which preferentially flows into the fractures and dissolves the fracture walls. The effect of the combined action of rock mechanical balance broken and fracture wall dissolution on the formation of wormholes in fractured carbonate reservoirs remains to be studied. To address the above-mentioned issues, a thermal-hydrologic-mechanical-chemical coupled model is presented based on the TSC model for studying the wormhole propagation in fractured carbonate reservoirs under practical conditions. Linear and radial flow cases are simulated to investigate the influences of fracture distribution, reaction temperature, and effective stress on acidizing dynamics. The simulation results show that more wormhole branches are formed by acidizing if the fractures are perpendicular to the flow direction of acid. Temperature is a key parameter affecting the acidification dissolution patterns, so the influence of temperature cannot be ignored during the acidification design. As the effective stress of the formation increases, the diameter of the wormhole gradually decreases, and the branching decreases. More acid is needed for the same stimulation result under higher effective stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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12 pages, 1776 KiB  
Article
Study of Single Fracture Seepage Characteristics of Fault-Filled Materials Based on CT Technology
by Wenbin Sun, Shaoyu Wang, Faxu Dong and Yandong Xue
Water 2022, 14(22), 3679; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223679 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
In order to study the matrix loss process and skeleton seepage law in the fracture of the fault rock, the three-dimensional model of the skeletal rock sample of the fault rock was obtained by CT scan, and the porous media seepage model was [...] Read more.
In order to study the matrix loss process and skeleton seepage law in the fracture of the fault rock, the three-dimensional model of the skeletal rock sample of the fault rock was obtained by CT scan, and the porous media seepage model was established with different structural types of natural fractures, and the flow rate and pressure distribution law of the seepage in the fracture was obtained by FLUENT software simulation. The results show that: the seepage under different pressure conditions is approximately the same, and the velocity increases continuously with the increase in pressure; The water seepage in different directions of the fracture channels under the same pressure conditions is not exactly the same, which is caused by the different microstructures of the pores. For the pressure distribution, it gradually decreases along the direction of water seepage, and for the speed distribution, it shows the law of changing from large to small and then increasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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19 pages, 5118 KiB  
Article
Characteristics and Controlling Factors of Groundwater Hydrochemistry in Dongzhi Tableland Area of the Loess Plateau of Eastern Gansu—A Case Study of Ning County Area, North China
by Mengnan Zhang, Shuangbao Han, Yushan Wang, Zhan Wang, Haixue Li, Xiaoyan Wang, Jiutan Liu, Changsuo Li and Zongjun Gao
Water 2022, 14(22), 3601; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223601 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1469
Abstract
Groundwater plays an irreplaceable role in all aspects of the Loess Plateau. In this study, the loess phreatic water (LPW) and bedrock phreatic water (BPW) in the Ning County area (NCA) were sampled and analyzed, and the characteristics and controlling factors of groundwater [...] Read more.
Groundwater plays an irreplaceable role in all aspects of the Loess Plateau. In this study, the loess phreatic water (LPW) and bedrock phreatic water (BPW) in the Ning County area (NCA) were sampled and analyzed, and the characteristics and controlling factors of groundwater were determined by using statistical analysis, hydrochemical methods, and hydrogeochemical simulation. The results indicated that the groundwater in the NCA was alkaline as a whole, and the average pH values of LPW and BPW were 8.1 and 7.8, respectively. The mean values of TDS concentrations of LPW and BPW were 314.9 mg/L and 675.3 mg/L, and the mean values of TH contents were 194.6 mg/L and 286.6 mg/L, respectively, which were mainly divided into hard fresh water. The Piper diagram illustrated that the hydrochemical type of groundwater in the NCA was mainly the HCO3·Ca type. The main recharge source of groundwater was atmospheric precipitation, and it was affected by evaporation to a certain extent. The linear relationships of δ18O and δ2H of LPW and BPW were δ2H = 6.998δ18O − 3.802 (R2 = 0.98) and δ2H = 6.283δ18O − 10.536 (R2 = 0.96), respectively. Hydrochemical analysis indicated that the groundwater in the NCA was mainly controlled by rock weathering and cation exchange. BPW was affected by the dissolution of gypsum. The possible mineral phases were identified on the basis of the main soluble minerals in the aquifer, and hydrogeochemical reverse simulations were performed. The dissolution of calcite, illite, and hornblende, and the precipitation of dolomite, plagioclase, and microcline occurred on both the LPW and BPW pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Impact on Groundwater Environment)
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