Influences of human activities and agriculture on groundwater quality of Kayseri-Incesu-Dokuzpınar springs, central Anatolian part of Turkey
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Human activities and agriculture have had direct and indirect effects on the rates of contamination of groundwater in the Incesu-Dokuzpınar spring area. Direct effects include dissolution and transport of excess quantities of fertilizers with associated materials and hydrological alterations related to irrigation and drainage. Indirect effects may include changes in water–rock reactions in soils and aquifers caused by increased concentrations of dissolved oxidants, protons, and major ions. Agricultural activities have directly or indirectly affected the concentrations of a large number of inorganic chemicals in groundwater, for example NO3, N2, Cl, SO42, H+, K, Mg, Ca, Fe, Cu, B, Pb, and Zn, as well as a wide variety of pesticides and other organic compounds. For reactive contaminants like NO3, it is recommended that a combination of hydrochemical and environmental-tracer analytical approaches might be required to resolve changing inputs from subsequent alterations as causes of concentration gradients in groundwater. The water type of Dokuzpınar springs is mainly Na–Mg–Ca–Cl–HCO3. Note that the water types of the springs were directly related to the hydrogeochemical properties of outcrops at the study area. Thus, the high concentration of Ca2+ and HCO3 is mainly related to the high CO2 contents in the marbles, whereas the high Na concentration arises from the existing syenite, volcanic ash, basalt, and clay units, although the İncesu-Dokuzpınar springs cover most of the drinking and irrigation water demands of this area. The high concentrations of NO3 and NaCl show that the area around the springs is continuously being contaminated by untreated sewage and agricultural wastes, especially during dry periods. Therefore, this approach is based on the vulnerability studies of the catchment area, determination of the transfer time of the pollutant, and the water-bearing formations of İncesu-Dokuzpınar springs. Vulnerability in this study is defined as the intrinsic hydrogeochemical characteristics of an aquifer, which may show the sensitivity of groundwater to be contaminated by different human activities.
KeywordsDokuzpınar Springs Human activities Agriculture Contamination Turkey
Sincere thanks are extended to the funding group of the project that was provided by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). I am also grateful to my colleagues Yakup Kurmaç and Murat Kavurmacı, who helped in the field and laboratory work for this project; the reviews of the manuscript were also much appreciated.
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