A broad-scale method for estimating natural background levels of dissolved components in groundwater based on lithology and anthropogenic pressure

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  • Julie Lions, BRGM
  • ,
  • Nicolas Devau, BRGM
  • ,
  • Daniel Elster, Geological Survey of Austria
  • ,
  • Denitza D. Voutchkova, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
  • ,
  • Birgitte Hansen, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
  • ,
  • Jörg Schullehner
  • Tanja Petrović Pantić, Geological Survey of Serbia
  • ,
  • Katarina Atanasković Samolov, Geological Survey of Serbia
  • ,
  • Victor Camps, Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya
  • ,
  • Georgina Arnó, Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya
  • ,
  • Ignasi Herms, Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya
  • ,
  • Nina Rman, Geological Survey of Slovenia
  • ,
  • Sonja Cerar, Geological Survey of Slovenia
  • ,
  • Juan Grima, Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana
  • ,
  • Elena Giménez-Forcada, Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana
  • ,
  • Juan Antonio Luque-Espinar, Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana
  • ,
  • Eline Malcuit, BRGM
  • ,
  • Laurence Gourcy, BRGM

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires EU member states to assess the chemical status of groundwater bodies, a status defined according to threshold values for harmful elements and based on/the natural background level (NBL). The NBL is defined as the expected value of the concentration of elements naturally present in the environment. The aim of this study is to propose a methodology that will be broadly applicable to a wide range of conditions at the regional and national scale. Using a statistical approach, the methodology seeks to determine NBLs for SO4, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, and F based on the lithology of aquifers from which groundwater monitoring data were collected. The methodology was applied in six EU countries to demonstrate validity for a wide range of European regions. An average concentration was calculated for each parameter and chosen water point and linked to a lithology. Based on the dataset created, significant differences between lithologies and pressure categories (urban, agricultural, industrial, and mining) were tested using a nonparametric test. For each parameter, 90th percentiles were calculated to provide an estimation of the maximum natural concentrations possible for each lithology.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer1531
TidsskriftWater (Switzerland)
Vol/bind13
Nummer11
ISSN2073-4441
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2021

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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