Environmental isotopes (15N and 18O) in the assessment of groundwater degradation: Aveiro Quaternary aquifer (NW Portugal)

  • P. G. Fernandes
  • P. M. Carreira
  • D. Nunes


The Aveiro region, situated on the Northwest coast of Portugal is one of the most industrialized areas of Portugal. The shallow Quaternary aquifer system, mainly of detrital sediments of Pleistocene and Holocene ages, is still today an important water resource for this region despite growing evidence of diffuse pollution problems. Isotope techniques have been used to evaluate the aquifer vulnerability to nitrate contamination (δ18O and δ15N from NO3 and δ2H and δ18O from H2O). Nitrogen isotopes were used to identify nitrogen sources and assess agriculture, cattle-breeding, urban and industrial contributions to the nitrogen cycle in the Aveiro ecosystem.


Groundwater contamination Nitrogen isotopes Environmental isotopes 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Tecnológico e NuclearSacavémPortugal

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