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Title: Identification of nitrate sources in groundwater by 15Nnitrate and 18Onitrate isotopes: a study of the shallow Pleistocene aquifer in the Jericho area, Palestine.
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Authors: Khayat, Saed
Hoetzl, Heinz
Geyer, Stefan
Ghanem, Marwan
Ali, Wasim
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Abstract: This study describes the impact of septic tanks on the groundwater quality of the shallow Pleistocene aquifer in Jericho area, Westbank, Palestine. Septic tanks are widely used for storage and disposal of sewage in the populated and agricultural city of Jericho. Routine hydrochemical tests for groundwater quality performed for several years identified the problem of a gradual nitrate increase, without pinpointing its definite sources. The geological formations of the Jericho area and the shallow nature of the Pleistocene aquifer, together with the mechanism of recharge, make the groundwater in this aquifer highly susceptible to contamination, particularly along sewers. The lithology of the Samara (high hydraulic conductivity) and the Lisan formation (low conductivity but increased infiltration along fractures) promote easy seepage of agricultural and anthropogenic inputs into the groundwater. Nitrate concentrations are elevated near septic tanks and animal farms, with nitrate values exceeding 74 mg/L. d15Nnitrate and d18Onitrate signatures suggest sewage and manure as the main sources of high nitrate concentration in the groundwater. Samples taken during the end of the dry season indicate that a slight denitrification in the aquifer
Description: Hoetzl,Heinz: Geyer,Stefan: Ghanem,Marwan: Ali,Wasim:
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