Environmental Processes

, Volume 5, Supplement 1, pp 127–137 | Cite as

Water Chemistry and Stable Isotopes of Different Water Types in Tajikistan

  • Qianyu Li
  • Jinglu WuEmail author
  • Beibei Shen
  • Haiao Zeng
  • Yanhong Li
Original Article


The concentration of major ions and their molar ratios are used to identify sources of the solutes and highlight their hydrochemical evolutions in surface waters. Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes of stream and lake waters are ideal to characterize sources and transport pathways of incoming precipitation. In order to analyze the spatial distribution characteristics and further explore the formation reason and environmental significance, major ions and isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen were measured in lake, river and spring water samples collected in Tajikistan from September to October 2011. Ca2+ and HCO3 were the dominant ions of river and spring waters, and originated mainly from carbonate weathering. The northwestern waters were of the Ca-SO42− type resulting from silicate weathering. Most lakes of Tajikistan are located in the eastern, mountainous area and are of the Mg-SO42− and Na-Cl type, reflecting persistent, long-term evaporation under an arid climate. The hydrogen and oxygen isotope values of river and spring water in Tajikistan ranged from −129 to −65‰ and −17 to −9.3‰, respectively, and display larger variance in spatial distribution, indicating that river and spring waters in the east are supplied mainly by glaciers and waters in the west come mainly from precipitation. Regression lines between hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in waters from the eastern (δD = 9.2δ18O + 28.0) and western (δD = 5.5δ18O - 10.7) rivers and springs differ as a consequence of different moisture sources in the two areas. Significant correlations between hydrochemistry and isotope values in lake water mainly reflect the intensity of evaporation under arid climate conditions.


Tajikistan Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes Hydrochemical types Environmental characteristics 



We thank the CAS Research Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia for assistance with field work. Thanks are also due to Mark Brenner for his valuable suggestions and revision of the text. This paper was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Pan-Third Pole Environment Study for a Green Silk Road (XDA2006030101) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41671200; U1603242). An initial shorter version of the paper has been presented at the 10th World Congress of the European Water Resources Association (EWRA2017) “Panta Rhei”, Athens, Greece, 5-9 July, 2017 (


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qianyu Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jinglu Wu
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Beibei Shen
    • 1
  • Haiao Zeng
    • 1
  • Yanhong Li
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Ecology and Environment of Central AsiaChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiChina
  4. 4.College of Geography and TourismXinjiang Normal UniversityUrumqiChina

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