Geostatistical analysis of hydrochemical variations and nitrate pollution causes of groundwater in an alluvial fan plain
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Geostatistics was used in a typical alluvial fan to reveal its applicability to spatial distribution analysis and controlling mechanisms of groundwater chemistry. Normal distribution test and optimal geostatistical interpolation models for various groundwater quality indicators were discussed in this study. The optimal variogram model of each indicator was determined using prediction error analysis. The influences of human activities and structural factors on the groundwater chemistry were also determined by variability intensity and the sill ratio. The results showed that nitrate content can be served as groundwater quality indicator, which was most sensitive to human activities. The nitrate concentration of both shallow and deep groundwater showed a decreasing trend from the northwest to the southeast. In addition, the spatial distribution of groundwater nitrate was associated with the land-use type and the lithological properties of aquifer. Rapid urbanization in the northwestern part intensified groundwater extraction and aggravated the pollutant input. The central area showed little increase in nitrate content in the shallow and deep groundwater, and the effect of lateral recharge from the upstream water on the deep groundwater in the central area was greater than that of the vertical recharge from shallow groundwater. The present study suggests that geostatistics is helpful for analyzing the spatial distribution and distinguishing the influences of anthropogenic and natural factors on groundwater chemistry.
KeywordsGeostatistics Groundwater chemistry Human activities Nitrate pollution Spatial variation
This research was financially supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2019MS028; 2682019CX14), the National Basic Resources Survey Program of China (2017FY100405) and China Geological Survey (DD20160238).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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