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Characterization of a managed aquifer recharge system using multiple tracers

Title data

Moeck, Christian ; Radny, Dirk ; Popp, Andrea ; Brennwald, Matthias ; Stoll, Sebastian ; Auckenthaler, Adrian ; Berg, Michael ; Schirmer, Mario:
Characterization of a managed aquifer recharge system using multiple tracers.
In: Science of the Total Environment. Vol. 609 (2017) . - pp. 701-714.
ISSN 1879-1026
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.211

Abstract in another language

Knowledge about the residence timesof artificially infiltrated water into an aquifer and the resulting flow paths is essential to developing groundwater-management schemes. To obtain this knowledge, a variety of tracers can be used to study residence times and gain information about subsurface processes. Although a variety of tracers exists, their interpretation can differ considerably due to subsurface heterogeneity, underlying assumptions, and sampling and analysis limitations. The current study systematically assesses information gained from seven different tracers during a pumping experiment at a site where drinking water is extracted from an aquifer close to contaminated areas and where groundwater is artificially recharged by infiltrating surface water. We demonstrate that the groundwater residence times estimated using dye and heat tracers are comparable when the thermal retardation for the heat tracer is considered. Furthermore, major ions, acesulfame, and stable isotopes (δ2H and δ18O) show that mixing of infiltrated water and groundwater coming from the regional flow path occurred and a vertical stratification of the flow system exist. Based on the concentration patterns of dissolved gases (He, Ar, Kr, N2,andO2) and chlorinated solvents (e.g., tetrachloroethene), three temporal phases are observed in the ratio between infiltrated water and regional groundwater during the pumping experiment. Variability in this ratio is significantly related to changes in the pumping and infiltration rates. During constant pumping rates, more infiltrated water was extracted, which led to a higher dilution of the regional groundwater. An infiltration interruption caused however, the ratio to change and more regional groundwater is extracted, which led to an increase in all concentrations. The obtained results are discussed for each tracer considered and its strengths and limitations are illustrated. Overall, it is demonstrated that aquifer heterogeneity and various subsurface processes necessitate application of multiple tracers to quantify uncertainty when identifying flow processes.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER146892
Keywords: Managed aquifer recharge; Groundwater residence time; Acesulfame; Time series; Noble gases; Urban hydrogeology
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 02 May 2019 10:26
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 10:26
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48290