Tritium tracers of rapid surface water ingression into arsenic-bearing aquifers in the Lower Mekong Basin, Cambodia

Richards, Laura A., Sültenfuß, Jürgen, Ballentine, Christopher J. , Magnone, Daniel, van Dongen, Bart E., Sovann, Chansopheaktra and Polya, David A. (2017) Tritium tracers of rapid surface water ingression into arsenic-bearing aquifers in the Lower Mekong Basin, Cambodia. Procedia: Earth and Planetary Science, 17 . pp. 845-848. ISSN 1878-5220

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Arsenic (As) contamination of groundwaters in South and Southeast Asia is a major threat to public health in these areas. Understanding the source and age of the groundwaters is critically important to understanding the controls on As mobilization in these aquifers. Using tritium (3H) and noble gas (He and Ne) signatures, model groundwater ages and dominant hydrological controls were identified in a transect oriented broadly parallel to inferred groundwater flowpaths in Kandal Province, Cambodia in the lower Mekong Basin. Apparent 3H-3He ages showed that most groundwaters are modern (< 55 years), indicating relatively fast recharge even in the absence of large-scale groundwater abstraction. The age-depth relationship indicates a strong vertical component of groundwater flow and allows for recharge rates to be estimated. Vertical and horizontal flow velocities are heterogeneous and site-specific. The conceptual framework will be used to better understand As mobilization and subsequent transport with these and similar aquifers.

Keywords:tritium, arsenic, groundwater age, environmental pollutants, Cambodia
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F851 Applied Environmental Sciences
F Physical Sciences > F140 Environmental Chemistry
F Physical Sciences > F850 Environmental Sciences
F Physical Sciences > F852 Hydrology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:28121
Deposited On:04 Aug 2017 10:54

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