Dernière mise à jour le : 1 janvier 2012

Nitrate dynamics in agricultural catchments deduced from groundwater dating and long-term nitrate monitoring in surface- and groundwaters

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Although nitrate export in agricultural catchments has been simulated using various types of models, the role of groundwater in nitrate dynamics has rarely been fully taken into account.We used groundwater dating methods (CFC analyses) to reconstruct the original nitrate concentrations in the groundwater recharge in Brittany (Western France) from 1950 to 2009. This revealed a sharp increase in nitrate concentrations from 1977 to 1990 followed by a slight decrease. The recharge concentration curve was then compared with past chronicles of groundwater concentration. Groundwater can be interpreted as resulting from the annual dilution of recharge water in an uncontaminated aquifer. Two aquifers were considered: the weathered aquifer and the deeper fractured aquifer. The nitrate concentrations observed in the upper part of the weathered aquifer implied an annual renewal rate of 27 to 33% of the reservoir volumewhile those in the lower part indicated an annual renewal rate of 2-3%. The concentrations in the deep fractured aquifer showed an annual renewal rate of 0.1%. The river concentration can be simulated by combining these various groundwater reservoirswith the recharge. Winter and summer waters contain i) recharge water, or water from the variably saturated zone with rapid transfer and high nitrate concentrations, and ii) a large contribution (from 35 to 80% in winter and summer, respectively) from the lower part of the aquifer (lower weathered aquifer and deep fractured aquifer). This induces not only a relatively rapid response of the catchment to variations in agricultural pressure, but also a potential inertia which has to be taken into account.

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keyboard_arrow_right Titre : Nitrate dynamics in agricultural catchments deduced from groundwater dating and long-term nitrate monitoring in surface- and groundwaters
keyboard_arrow_right Type de documentation : Articles
keyboard_arrow_right Auteur(s) personne(s) : Aquilina Luc, Roques, Clément , De Ridder Jo, MONTETY V. de , Ruiz, Laurent , Molénat Jérôme, BOUR, Olivier , Labasque, Thierry , Vergnaud-Ayraud, Virginie , Longuevergne, Laurent
keyboard_arrow_right Date de publication : 1 janvier 2012
keyboard_arrow_right Editeur(s) : Elsevier
keyboard_arrow_right Tags thématiques : agriculture, eaux souterraines, nitrate, qualité de l'eau
keyboard_arrow_right Langue : Anglais
keyboard_arrow_right Collection : Revue Science of The Total Environment

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