, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 3-10

Distribution and formation of high-fluorine groundwater in China

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Abstract

In China, high-fluorine groundwater, which contains more than 1.0 mg/l fluorine, is mainly distributed in shallow aquifers of unconsolidated deposits in some arid and semiarid areas, deep aquifers of unconsolidated deposits in semiarid areas, as well as in hot springs of bed rock mountainous area and aquifers of fluorite-mine area. Its formation is controlled by regional climate factors, seepage conditions of groundwater, as well as the hydrogeochemical environment. The physicochemical properties of soil mass of the aeration zone play an important role in fluorine concentration in shallow groundwater. In the coastal plain areas, where groundwater is mainly recharged and discharged vertically, and its regime type belongs to the type of infiltration—evaporation, the grain size of soil mass of aeration zone directly influences the amount of fluorine transferred from solid medium into water; and the chemical constituents of the soil mass of aeration zone controls the chemical characteristics of the shallow groundwater, consequently influencing the concentration condition of fluorine in water.

Fluorine ion in groundwater continuously migrates and concentrates under the comprehensive influence of many factors. High-fluorine groundwater exceeding the sanitary standard (1.0 mg/l) has an obvious zonality in regional distribution in China. Based on current statistics, there are roughly 50 million people (Zheng Qifu 1986) who have consumed water which exceeds standards in China. In highfluorine groundwater areas, endemic fluorine-poisoning often arises to different extents, affecting human health seriously. At the end of 1983, over 20 million patients were suffering from fluorine-poisoning diseases in China (Xu Guozhang, unpublished data). Therefore, research of the distribution feature and formation mechanism of fluorine ion in groundwater has become an important task.