Exposure and Health

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 389–400 | Cite as

Enrichment and Sources of Nitrogen in Groundwater in the Turpan-Hami Area, Northwestern China

  • Wanjun Jiang
  • Guangcai WangEmail author
  • Yizhi Sheng
  • Dan Zhao
  • Chenglong Liu
  • Yonghai Guo
Original Paper


High contents of nitrogen in groundwater were found in the Turpan-Hami area, Xinjiang, China, whereas the enrichment characteristics and sources of nitrogen were poorly understood. In this study, totally 19 groups of groundwater samples were collected in the Turpan-Hami area for chemistry and isotope analysis. Combining with the hydrochemical, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen stable isotopes data, the distribution and sources of nitrogen of groundwater in the Turpan-Hami area were analyzed. The results showed that the groundwater mainly originated from the atmospheric precipitation, and the evaporation was the dominant mode for groundwater discharge in Turpan-Hami area. The concentration of nitrate (NO 3 - –N) in groundwater varies from 23.29 to 1819.49 mg/L. Obvious enrichment trend of nitrogen was observed along the groundwater flow direction. The increase of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia concentrations were consistent with that of TDS in the area. The concentrations of nitrogen species were dominated by the strong evaporation rather than human activity except for one sample. The δ15N-NO 3 - in groundwater ranges from −0.6 to +31 ‰, and mostly in a range of +4.1 to +19.3 ‰. The δ18O–NO3 ranges from +16.3 to +37.4 ‰. The result indicated that nitrate in groundwater was mainly derived from atmospheric precipitation, and the conversion of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia in groundwater was not active in the area.


Hydrochemical characteristics Stable nitrogen and oxygen isotopes Nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia Atmospheric precipitation Turpan-Hami area 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wanjun Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Guangcai Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Yizhi Sheng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dan Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Chenglong Liu
    • 4
  • Yonghai Guo
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Water Resources and EnvironmentChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental GeologyChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.MOE Key Laboratory of Groundwater Circulation and EvolutionChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of GeologyChina Earthquake AdministrationBeijingChina
  5. 5.Beijing Research Institute of Uranium GeologyBeijingChina

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