Groundwater Recharge Processes Revealed By Multi-Tracers Approach in a Headwater, North China Plain
Abstract:Groundwater recharge variation in space and time is crucial for effective water management especially in arid/ semi-arid regions. In order to reveal comprehensive groundwater recharge processes in a catchment with a large topographical relief and seasonal hydrological variations, intensive field surveys were conducted at 4 times in different seasons in Wangkuai watershed, Taihang Mountains, which is a main groundwater recharge zone of North China Plain. The groundwater, spring, stream water and lake water were sampled, and inorganic solute constituents and stable isotopes of oxygen-18 and deuterium were determined on all water samples. Also, the stream flow rate was observed in stable state condition.
The stable isotopic compositions, silica and bicarbonate concentrations in the groundwater show close values as those in the surface water, suggesting main groundwater recharge occurs from surface water at mountain-plain transitional zone throughout a year. Also, the deuterium and oxgen-18 in the Wangkuai reservoir and the groundwater in the vicinity of the reservoir show higher values, suggesting the reservoir water, affected by evaporation effect, seems to have an important role for the groundwater recharge in alluvial plain.
For specifying the groundwater recharge area and quantifying groundwater recharge rate from the reservoir, an inversion analysis and a simple mixing model were applied in Wangkuai watershed using stable isotopes of oxygen-18 and deuterium. The model results show that groundwater recharge occurs dominantly at the altitude from 357 m to 738 m corresponding to mountain-plain transitional zone, and groundwater recharge rate by Wangkuai reservoir is estimated to be 2.4 % of total groundwater recharge in Wangkuai watershed.