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Combined effects of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination on groundwater in coastal agricultural areas: A case from the Plain of the El-Nil River (North-Eastern Algeria)

Boumaiza Lamine, Walter Julien, Chesnaux Romain, Zahi Faouzi, Huneau Frédéric, Garel Émilie, Stotler Randy L., Bordeleau Geneviève, Johannesson Karen H., Vystavna Yuliya, Drias Tarek, Re Viviana, Knöller Kay et Stumpp Christine. (2022). Combined effects of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination on groundwater in coastal agricultural areas: A case from the Plain of the El-Nil River (North-Eastern Algeria). Science of The Total Environment, 851, e158153.

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This study focuses on coastal aquifers subject to uncontrolled land use development by investigating the combined effects of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination. The research is undertaken in a Mediterranean coastal agricultural area (Plain of the El-Nil River, Algeria), where water resources are heavily impacted by anthropogenic activities. A multi-tracer approach, integrating hydrogeochemical and isotopic tracers (δ2HH2O, δ18OH2O, δ15NNO3 and δ18ONO3), is combined with a hydrochemical facies evolution diagram, and a Bayesian isotope mixing model (MixSIAR) to assess seawater contamination with its inland intrusion, and distinguish the nitrate sources and their apportionment. Results show that seawater intrusion is circumscribed to the sector neighboring the Mediterranean Sea, with two influencing functions including classic inland intrusion through the aquifer, and upstream seawater impact through the river mouth connected to the Mediterranean Sea. Groundwater and surface water samples reveal nitrate concentrations above the natural baseline threshold, suggesting anthropogenic influence. Results from nitrate isotopic composition, NO3 and Cl concentrations, and the MixSIAR model show that nitrate concentrations chiefly originate from sewage and manure sources. Nitrate derived from the sewage is related to wastewater discharge, whereas nitrate derived from the manure is attributed to an excessive use of animal manure to fertilise agricultural areas. The dual negative impact of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination degrades water quality over a large proportion of the study area. The outcomes of this study are expected to contribute to effective and sustainable water resources management in the Mediterranean coastal area. Furthermore, this study may improve scientists' ability to predict the combined effect of various anthropogenic stressors on coastal environments and help decision-makers elsewhere to prepare suitable environmental strategies for other regions currently undergoing an early stage of water resources deterioration.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Identifiant unique:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158153
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Génie
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Sciences de la terre (géologie, géographie)
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Unités de recherche > Centre d’étude sur les Ressources minérales (CERM)
Départements et modules > Département des sciences appliquées > Module d'ingénierie
Mots-clés:seawater intrusion, nitrate contamination, stable isotopes, aquifer, HFE-DMixSIAR, intrusion d'eau de mer, contamination par les nitrates, isotopes stables, aquifère
Déposé le:30 sept. 2022 20:00
Dernière modification:30 sept. 2022 20:00
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