The Study on Groundwater Recharge and Evolution in Northwestern China

  • Yunpu Zheng
  • Lili Guo
  • Liang Liu
  • Lihua Hao
  • Qiang Ma
  • Jingui Wang
  • Fei Li
  • Lishu WangEmail author
  • Ming XuEmail author
Part of the Environmental Earth Sciences book series (EESCI)


The recharge and evolution of groundwater in the Wuwei Basin were investigated using chemical indicators, stable isotopes, and radiocarbon data. The results showed that the concentrations of Na+ and K+ in the groundwater were controlled by the dissolution of halite and sylvite from fine-grained sediments, whereas the increase of Na+ and Cl was not in accordance with a ratio of 1:1, indicating that the dissolution of halite and sylvite barely affected the concentrations of Na+ and K+ in groundwater. Meanwhile, HCO3 was the dominant ion with a decreased ratio in the groundwater. The SO42−/Cl ratio decreased with the sample profile from Southwest to Northeast due mainly to the increases of Cl concentration. The Cl was enriched in the hydrodynamic sluggish belt, and thus the Ca2+/Cl ratio decreased with the enhancement of Cl. In addition, the δ18O and δ2H values of groundwater gradually increased from Southwest to Northeast along the flow path. Compared with the isotopic values of precipitation, the heavy isotopic values were strongly depleted in the groundwater samples, suggesting that the recharge of groundwater in the plain region was very limited from precipitation. Moreover, the groundwater in the phreatic aquifer was younger water with 3H values from 47 to 71 a.BP, while the groundwater age in the confined aquifer was 1000–5800 BP evidenced by the 14C values between 48 and 88 pmc. These results suggested that the recharge duration of the groundwater was from the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. These results might have important significance for inter-basin water allocation and groundwater management of the Wuwei Basin.


Environmental isotopes Hydrochemistry Groundwater circulation Iron 



This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31400418), the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (No. E2015402128, C2016402088), the Young Outstanding Innovative Talents of Hebei Province (BJ2016012), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (2014M561044 and 2016T90128).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunpu Zheng
    • 1
  • Lili Guo
    • 1
  • Liang Liu
    • 1
  • Lihua Hao
    • 1
  • Qiang Ma
    • 2
  • Jingui Wang
    • 1
  • Fei Li
    • 1
  • Lishu Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ming Xu
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Water Conservancy and HydropowerHebei University of EngineeringHandanChina
  2. 2.Yahoo! Inc.SunnyvaleUSA
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.School of Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural ResourcesRutgers University, Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial AnalysisNew BrunswickUSA

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