Advances in Earth Science ›› 2007, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (9): 922-930. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2007.09.0922

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Environmental Isotopes as the Indicators of the Groundwater Recharge in the South Badain Jaran Desert

MA Jin-zhu 1, HUANG Tian-ming 1, DING Zhen-yu 1, W.M.Edmunds 2   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China; 2.Oxford Centre for Water Research, Oxford University, Oxford,OX1 3QY, UK
  • Received:2007-04-30 Revised:2007-07-05 Online:2007-09-15 Published:2007-09-10

MA Jin-zhu, HUANG Tian-ming, DING Zhen-yu, W.M.Edmunds. Environmental Isotopes as the Indicators of the Groundwater Recharge in the South Badain Jaran Desert[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2007, 22(9): 922-930.

The reconstructed maximum tritium peak was reached 2 100 TU in 1963 in the Badain Jaran area,which is lower than the tritium peak value of 3 280 TU in Vienna, but quite higher than the average tritium value of 600 TU in HongKong. The reconstructed 3H value was about 110~150 TU during the 1970s and reduced to 60 TU during the 1990s. The very low tritium value in the groundwater shows that little modern rainfall recharged groundwater was mixed by more palaeowater, which indicates age determinations accurate to the year are impossible and a tritium value in the groundwater means multiple recharge ages in this region. The temperature is the primary factor effect to δ18O and δ2H in precipitation and their value is 59.9% and 57.0% respectively. The isotopic composition of the lakes and the shallow groundwaters feeding the lakes are interrelated along a line that intercepts the local meteoric line at around -11.4‰  δ18O . This implies that the groundwaters are genetically recharged from a time when the climate was much colder and wetter than today during the later Pleistocene. The source must be palaeowater from the Southeast Yabulai Mountain. However, the shallow groundwater partly recharged with minimum rainfall.

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