Factors affecting denitrification during infiltration of river water into a sand and gravel aquifer in Saxony, Germany

Grischek, T., Hiscock, K. M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4505-1496, Metschies, T., Dennis, P. F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0307-4406 and Nestler, W. (1998) Factors affecting denitrification during infiltration of river water into a sand and gravel aquifer in Saxony, Germany. Water Research, 32 (2). pp. 450-460. ISSN 0043-1354

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Abstract

River infiltration into a sand and gravel aquifer was investigated to assess the importance of denitrification in maintaining low-NOS groundwater supplies. Samples from the River Elbe and groundwater sampling points along a section of the aquifer were analysed for dissolved organic carbon, major ions and the 15N/14N isotopic ratio of dissolved NO3-. Input of NOS to the aquifer is influenced by seasonal, temperature-dependent denitrification in the river bed sediments. Along an upper flowpath in the aquifer from the River Elbe to a sampling point at a distance of 55 m, the median NO3- concentration decreased by 4.8 mg litre-1 and the δ15N composition increased by +9.0‰, consistent with denitrification. Similar isotopic enrichment was demonstrated in a laboratory column experiment with a reduction in NO3- of 10.5 mg litre-1 for an increase in δ15N of +9.8‰, yielding an isotopic enrichment factor of ~ 14.6‰. A mass balance for denitrification shows that oxidizable organic carbon required for denitrification is derived from both the infiltrating river water and solid organic matter fixed in the river bed sediments and aquifer material.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Acknowledgements--This work was supported financially by the German Ministry for Education, Research and Technology (grants 02WT9454 and 02WT9161/0). The authors are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University of East Anglia for supporting the nitrogen isotope study, The water company FWV Elbaue-Ostharz GmbH is acknowledged for its support during sampling and analysis of water samples. The authors also thank Dr Nick Feast for assistance with the nitrogen isotope measurements, and Beate Schmidt for undertaking the nitrate analyses.
Uncontrolled Keywords: denitrification,nitrate pollution,nitrogen isotopes,river elbe,river infiltration,environmental engineering,civil and structural engineering,ecological modelling,water science and technology,waste management and disposal,pollution ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2305
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2022 11:32
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 07:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/88964
DOI: 10.1016/S0043-1354(97)00208-X

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