Origin and residence time of groundwater based on stable and radioactive isotopes in the Heihe River Basin, northwestern China
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Geosci
KeywordsHeihe River Basin (HRB)
Stable and radioactive isotopes
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
CitationZhao, Liangju & Eastoe, C & Liu, Xiaohong & Wang, Lixin & L Wang, N & Xie, C & X Song, Y. (2018). Origin and residence time of groundwater based on stable and radioactive isotopes in the Heihe River Basin, northwestern China. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies. 18. 10.1016/j.ejrh.2018.05.002.
Rights© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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AbstractStudy region: The Heihe River Basin (HRB) is one of several arid basins in which runoff from the Qilian Mountain recharges basin aquifers. Study focus: A basin-wide dataset (delta O-18, D, H-3 and C-14) is used to determine the present and past relationships between precipitation, surface runoff and recharge, to constrain groundwater residence times, and to infer Holocene climate change. New hydrological insights for the region: Groundwater in the upper region (UR) of HRB has (delta O-18, delta D) clustered near (-8.0, -46%), consistent with present-day Qilian Mountain precipitation. Tritium of groundwater > 26 TU indicates post-bomb recharge. Mountain runoff provides recharge to alluvial-fluvial aquifers in the Middle Region (MR) and Lower Region (LR) along the main river of the HRB. Between 1986 and 2001, anthropogenic tritium releases affected north-central China, affecting HRB precipitation. Irrigation reflux strongly affects isotopes in basin groundwater, generating anomalous samples with low tritium and post-bomb C-14, or high tritium and pre-bomb C-14. Stable isotopes in Qilian Mountain runoff have evolved in response to climate change. A 1% shift in delta O-18 since 1960 coincides with drying of the Aral Sea, possibly affecting moisture advected from the west. A 6-8% shift before 12 ka may indicate the former extent of the South Asian monsoon.
NoteOpen Access Journal.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Key Research and Development Program of China [2017YFC0404302]; National Natural Science Foundation of China [41771028, 41571025]; Shaanxi province natural science foundation research project [2016JM4006]; Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources; Chinese Academy of Sciences [KFKT201606]; U.S. National Science Foundation [EAR-1554894]; Indiana University