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Isotopic and geochemical characteristics of groundwater in the Senegal River delta aquifer: implication of recharge and flow regime

Groundwater and surface water samples were collected to improve understanding of the Senegal River Lower Valley and Delta system, which is prone to salinization. Inorganic ion concentrations and environmental isotopes (18O, 2H and 3H) in groundwater, river, lake and precipitation were investigated to gain insight into the functioning of the system with regard to recharge sources and process, groundwater renewability, hydraulic interconnection and geochemical evolution. The geochemical characteristics of the system display mainly cation (Ca2? and/or Na?) bicarbonated waters, which evolve to chloride water type; this occurs during groundwater flow in the less mineralized part of the aquifer. In contrast, saline intrusion and secondary brines together with halite dissolution are likely to contaminate the groundwater to Na–Cl type. Halite, gypsum and calcite dissolution determine the major ion (Na?, Cl-, Ca2?, Mg2?, SO4 2- and HCO3 -) chemistry, but other processes such as evaporation, salt deposition, ion exchange and reverse exchange reactions also control the groundwater chemistry. Both surface water and groundwater in the system show an evaporation effect, but high evaporated signatures in the groundwater may be due to direct evaporation from the ground, infiltration of evaporated water or enriched rainwater in this region. The stable isotopes also reveal two types of groundwater in this system, which geomorphologically are distributed in the sand dunes (depleted isotopes) and in the flood plain (enriched isotopes). Consideration of the 3H content reinforces this grouping and suggests two mechanisms of recharge: contribution of enriched surface water in recharging the flood plain groundwater and, in the sand dunes area where water table is at depth between 8 and 13 m, slow recharge process characterized the submodern to mixed water.


Auteur(s) : Moctar DIAW
Pages : 1011–1020
Année de publication : 2012
Revue : Environnemental. Earth Sciences
N° de volume : 66
Type : Article
Statut Editorial : Journal
Mise en ligne par : DIAW Moctar