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01.05.2013 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2013

Environmental Earth Sciences 1/2013

A GIS-based DRASTIC model for assessing groundwater vulnerability in the Ordos Plateau, China

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 1/2013
Autoren:
Lihe Yin, Eryong Zhang, Xiaoyong Wang, Jochen Wenninger, Jiaqiu Dong, Li Guo, Jinting Huang

Abstract

Groundwater plays a key role in arid regions as the majority of water is supplied by it. Groundwater pollution is a major issue, because it is susceptible to contamination from land use and other anthropogenic impacts. A study was carried out to build a vulnerability map for the Ordos Plateau using the DRASTIC model in a GIS environment. The map was designed to show the areas of the highest potential for groundwater pollution based on hydrogeological conditions. Seven environmental parameters, such as depth to water table, net recharge, aquifer media, soil media, topography, impact of the vadose zone media, and hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer, were incorporated into the DRASTIC model and GIS was used to create a groundwater vulnerability map by overlaying the available data. The results of this study show that 24.8 % of the study area has high pollution potential, 24.2 % has moderate pollution potential, 19.7 % has low pollution potential, and the remaining 31.3 % of the area has no risk of groundwater pollution. The regional distribution of nitrate is well correlated with the DRASTIC vulnerability index. In contrast to this, although the DRASTIC model indicated that the western part had no risk, nitrate concentrations were higher in some of these areas. In particular, higher nitrate concentrations were recorded along river valleys and around lakes, such as the Mulin River valley. This is mainly caused by the intensive agricultural development and favorable conditions for recharge along river valleys.

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