Environmental Geology

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 665–675 | Cite as

Hydrochemical characteristics and salinity of groundwater in the Ejina Basin, Northwestern China

Original Article


A hydrochemical investigation was conducted in the Ejina Basin to identify the hydrochemical characteristics and the salinity of groundwater. The results indicate that groundwater in the area is brackish and are significantly zonation in salinity and water types from the recharge area to the discharge area. The ionic ration plot and saturation index (SI) calculation suggest that the silicate rock weathering and evaporation deposition are the dominant processes that determine the major ionic composition in the study area. Most of the stable isotope δ18O and δD compositions in the groundwater is a meteoric water feature, indicating that the groundwater mainly sources from meteoric water and most groundwater undergoes a long history of evaporation. Based on radioactive isotope tritium (3H) analysis, the groundwater ages were approximately estimated in different aquifers. The groundwater age ranges from less than 5 years, between 5 years and 50 years, and more than 50 years. Within 1 km of the river water influence zone, the groundwater recharges from recent Heihe river water and the groundwater age is about less than 5 years in shallow aquifer. From 1 km to 10 km of the river water influence zone, the groundwater sources from the mixture waters and the groundwater age is between 5 years and 50 years in shallow aquifer. The groundwater age is more than 50 years in deep confined aquifer.


Hydrochemical Isotope Salinity Groundwater age Ejina Basin Northwestern China 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil EngineeringCold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CASLanzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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