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Volume 3 Issue 3
Dec.  2015
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ZHOU Li-ling, CHENG Zhe, DUAN Lei, et al. 2015: Distribution of groundwater salinity and formation mechanism of fresh groundwater in an arid desert transition zone. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 3(3): 268-279.
Citation: ZHOU Li-ling, CHENG Zhe, DUAN Lei, et al. 2015: Distribution of groundwater salinity and formation mechanism of fresh groundwater in an arid desert transition zone. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 3(3): 268-279.

Distribution of groundwater salinity and formation mechanism of fresh groundwater in an arid desert transition zone

  • This study reviews the distribution of groundwater salinity in an arid desert transition zone. By combining field experiments and computer simulation models we make a comprehensive analysis of the formation mechanism of fresh groundwater in relation to the paleogeographic conditions of lithofacies, the geochemical characteristics of the aquifer media, salt deliverability in the vadose zone and prevailing hydrodynamic conditions. The results demonstrate that (1) the lacustrine facies deposition stratum of the Huanhe formation in the Cretaceous system provides a brackish-salt groundwater environment; (2) the average salinity of parent rocks are approximately 440 mg/kg and 4 371 mg/kg in the Quaternary eolian sand and the Cretaceous Huanhe formation respectively, suggesting that parent rocks are the principal controlling factor in the distribution of groundwater quality given that mineral and chemical composition of the eolian sand is simpler than that of the Huanhe formation; (3) average groundwater flow rates are approximately 0.25 m/d and 0.1 m/d in eolian sand and Huanhe formation aquifers respectively, indicating that hydrodynamic conditions play an important role in driving in the formation and evolution of fresh groundwater; (4) The salinity deliverability in the vadose zone overlying the aeolian sand and Huanhe formation aquifers are approximately 15.97 mg/L and 220.42 mg/L respectively, signifying that the combination of lithology and salt content of vadose zone, rainfall infiltration, evapotranspiration and concentration heavily influence the formation, distribution and evolution of groundwater quality. This study can provide a scientific basis for the sustainable development and utilization of groundwater resources in arid areas.
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