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Geochemical Journal, Vol. 40 (No. 1), pp. 103-119, 2006

Contribution of atmospheric pollutants into groundwater in the northern Sichuan Basin, China

Xiao-Dong Li,1,2 Harue Masuda,1 Masako Ono,1 Minoru Kusakabe,3 Fumitaka Yanagisawa4 and Hai-Ao Zeng2

1Department of Geosciences, Osaka City University, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka 558-8585, Japan
2Department of Environment and Civil Engineering, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
3Institute for Study of the Earth's Interior, Okayama University, Misasa, Tottori 682-0193, Japan
4Department of Earth Sciences, Yamagata University, Kojirakawa-cho, Yamagata 990-8560, Japan

(Received January 21, 2005; Accepted August 1, 2005)

Abstract: Anthropogenic pollution of groundwater was investigated from the source area to the uppermost densely populated city, Dujiangyan, along the Minjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, in the Sichuan Basin, in China, based on the chemistry of major dissolved ions and stable isotopic ratios (H, O and S). In the source area above 2,900 m, groundwaters were rarely polluted by human activities. Groundwater pollution was found to be limited to populated areas, where the pollutants come mainly from household wastes. The groundwaters in Dujiangyan and the surrounding area were mixtures of waters from the upper streams along the Minjiang River and local precipitation. The groundwater of this area was found to contain high amounts of anthropogenic Cl-, NO3--N, and SO42-. Among these anions, most SO42- was derived from air pollutants. The present study demonstrates that air pollution seriously affects the quality of groundwaters in areas where the Minjiang River emerges from the bottom edge of the Sichuan Basin.
Key words: atmospheric pollutant; groundwater pollution; hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur isotopes; Sichuan Basin; water circulation


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