Special Issue "Isotopes in Hydrology and Hydrogeology"
A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017)
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Barbieri
Department of Earth Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro, 5 - 00185 Roma, Italy
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Interests: geochemical tracers in hydrological studies; interactions between water and the geological and chemical environment; quantitative understanding of chemically based processes in hydrogeochemical environments and complementary physical and biological processes and conditions; kinetics and equilibria of geochemical reactions; the movement of isotopes and soil chemistry; freshwater-seawater interactions in coastal aquifers; basic and applied research on speciation and transformation of trace metals and metalloids during biogeochemical processes in both natural and anthropogenic environments; radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry
Within the realm of the newly evolving discipline of environmental sciences, the application of isotopes methodology is being used to an ever-increasing extent.
Application include tracing the evolution of a water mass from its origin as precipitation, through its recharge processes and ending at its occurrence in an aquifer. There is a special focus on the processes at the surface–atmosphere and land–biosphere–atmosphere interfaces, since these are the sites of major changes in isotope composition.
Isotopes can also be used to determine the origin of a specific solutes in ground water. Application of this type commonly involve stable isotopes. The list of stable isotopes that has important implications for water resources management has grown in recent years. The other main class of applications of isotopes is based on the decay of radioisotopes. Unlike stable isotope applications that shed light on geochemical processes in aquifers, the radioisotopes are primarily used to determining the relative or absolute age of water in an aquifer. Actually, the date obtained give some indication of the residence time of water in an aquifer once it has passed through the vadose zone.
In some instance, ground waters can be dated by the use of radioisotopes, although the stable isotope can also be used in some dating applications.
In the last decades is increasing interest in environmentally friendly tracers, like isotopes, because of concern has emerged about the application of artificially tracers in aquatic ecosystems due to their potentially negative impact on the environment.
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Barbieri
Manuscript Submission Information
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- hydrological cycle
- stable isotopes
- radioactive isotopes
- groundwater recharge
- groundwater salinization
- groundwater pollution
- groundwater transit time
- groundwater dating
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Delineating Recharge Elevation and Residence Time of Groundwater on a Cascade Range Volcano
Authors: Jean E. Moran, Ate Visser, Elizabeth Peters, Bradley K. Esser, Michael J. Singleton
Abstract: A warming climate will bring drastic changes to hydrologic systems in the headwater basins of the major rivers in California, USA. Runoff in these rivers fills the reservoirs that sustain cities and agriculture through the dry months, while cool, late season groundwater discharge to streams is critical for sustaining subalpine ecosystems. Despite the important role they play in the larger hydrologic system, groundwater flow paths in headwater basins are typically not well characterized, with recharge and discharge locations largely unidentified, and subsurface residence times unknown.
We examined several groundwater residence time tracers, stable isotopes and noble gas recharge temperatures in samples from wells and springs on Mount Shasta at the headwaters of the Sacramento River. The topographic relief of this 4300 m volcano imparts robust signatures of recharge elevation to both stable isotopes of the water molecule (d^18 O and dD), and to dissolved noble gases, offering tools to identify recharge areas and delineate groundwater flow paths. This study was carried out during drought years, when the influence of runoff and recent recharge were minimal. Recharge elevations determined using stable isotopes and noble gas recharge temperatures are in close agreement, and indicate that most snowmelt infiltrates at elevations between 2000 and 2900 m (6600 and 9500 ft), which coincides with areas of thin soils and barren land cover. The large springs in Mt Shasta City discharge at an elevation more than 1500 m lower. High elevation springs (>2000 m) yield very young water (< 2 years) while lower elevation wells (1000-1500 m) produce water with a residence time of 6 years or more, based on tritium concentrations in sampled water. Residence time indicators with shorter half-lives (35-Sulfur and 22-Sodium) were not detected, suggesting that very recent recharge was a negligibly small component at the time of sampling. Combined with recharge elevation estimates, ages indicate horizontal flow velocities between 0.5 and 1 km per year. Differences between recharge and discharge temperatures (corrected for gravitational potential energy dissipation), allow estimation of a maximum flow path depth, which for Mt Shasta samples is about 500 m.