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Title: Characterizing sources and natural attenuation of nitrate contamination in the Baix Ter aquifer system (NE Spain) using a multi-isotope approach
Author: Puig Caminal, Roger
Soler i Gil, Albert
Widory, D.
Mas-Pla, Josep
Domènech Ortí, Cristina
Otero Pérez, Neus
Keywords: Contaminació de l'aigua
Isòtops estables en ecologia
Water pollution
Stable isotopes in ecological research
Issue Date: 15-Feb-2017
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Abstract: Nitrate pollution is a widespread issue affecting global water resources with significant economic and health ef- fects. Knowledge of both the corresponding pollution sources and of processes naturally attenuating them is thus of crucial importance in assessing water management policies and the impact of anthropogenic activities. In this study, an approach combining hydrodynamic, hydrochemical and multi-isotope systematics (8 isotopes) is used to characterize the sources of nitrate pollution and potential natural attenuation processes in a polluted basin of NE Spain. δ2H and δ18O isotopes were used to further characterize the sources of recharge of the aquifers. Results show that NO−3 is not homogeneously distributed and presents a large range of concentrations, from no NO−3 to up to 480 mg L−1. δ15N and δ18O of dissolved NO−3 identified manure as the main source of nitrate, although sew- age and mineral fertilizers can also be isotopically detected using boron isotopes (δ11B) and δ34S and δ18O of dis- solved sulphate, respectively. The multi-isotope approach proved that natural denitrification is occurring, especially in near-river environments or in areas hydrologically related to fault zones. δ34S and δ18O indicated that denitrification is not driven by pyrite oxidation but rather by the oxidation of organic matter. This could not be confirmed by the study of δ13CHCO3 that was buffered by the entanglement of other processes and sources.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Science of the Total Environment, 2017, vol. 580, p. 518-537
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ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada)

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