The Effects of Past Climate Change and Recent Agricultural Irrigation Recharge on the Sources, Ages, and Quality of Groundwater in the Columbia River Basalt Aquifers, Columbia Basin, Central Washington
AdvisorMcIntosh, Jennifer C.
Committee ChairMcIntosh, Jennifer C.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study uses multiple isotopic (2H, 18O, 13C, 15NNO3, 18ONO3, 87Sr/86Sr) and age tracers (3H, 14C, CFCs), in conjunction with elemental chemistry, to address the following research question: How have present day anthropogenic activities (i.e. surface water irrigation and fertilizer application) and past climatic events (i.e. cataclysmic flooding from glacial Lake Missoula and other modes of discharge from Cordilleran Ice Sheet) impacted the hydrology and geochemistry of the Columbia River Basalt Aquifers (CRBAs) in central Washington? Large-scale irrigated agriculture over the past ~60 years has resulted in the transport of high NO3- irrigation waters moving downward in the oxic CRBAs at rates of several meters per decade with a lack of denitrification. Deeper pristine regional groundwater in the CRBAs is Late Pleistocene in age and likely remnant Cordilleran Ice Sheet-related recharge waters (i.e. glacial Lake Missoula floodwaters).