University of Oulu

Yapiyev, V., Rossi, P. M., Ala-Aho, P., & Marttila, H. (2023). Stable water isotopes as an indicator of surface water intrusion in shallow aquifer wells: A cold climate perspective. Water Resources Research, 59, e2022WR033056.

Stable water isotopes as an indicator of surface water intrusion in shallow aquifer wells : a cold climate perspective

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Author: Yapiyev, Vadim1,2; Rossi, Pekka M.1; Ala-Aho, Pertti1;
Organizations: 1Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2School of Mining and Geoscience, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-03-14


Groundwater in shallow aquifers is commonly used for community water supply in cold climates. Shallow groundwaters are inherently susceptible to contamination from land-use and surface water intrusion threatening drinking water usage. We used a large-scale snapshot data set of stable water isotopes from shallow glaciofluvial aquifers used for drinking water supply in Northern Finland to assess surface water intrusion risks and recharge conditions. This data set was supplemented by long-term stable water isotope precipitation data, Geographic Information System proximity analysis and multivariate statistics. The isotope analysis suggest that a warm season contributes about 60% to the total annual precipitation in the region. This is reflected in the aquifers isotopic composition as it represents an approximately equal mixture of warm and cold season precipitation. Groundwater isotope data normalized to precipitation inputs by line-conditioned excess (lc-excess) was used to flag the water supply wells impacted by surface water intrusions. The proximity analysis showed some of the wells may be affected by intrusions from gravel pit ponds, lakes and peatland drainage. On the larger scale, the wells in coastal areas were more likely to have evaporated water (intrusion) compared to inland regions of Northern Finland due to lower water availability and the presence of man-made structures. This application of stable water isotopes with lc-excess is a useful approach not only for recharge studies but also within water management for supply well surface water contamination risk assessment.

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Series: Water resources research
ISSN: 0043-1397
ISSN-E: 1944-7973
ISSN-L: 0043-1397
Volume: 59
Issue: 2
Article number: e2022WR033056
DOI: 10.1029/2022WR033056
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This work was funded by the Land and Water Technology Support Association (Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki ry, Grant 4014), Finnish Water Utilities Association development fund (Vesilaitosten kehittämisrahasto) and Water Committee of Northern Finland (Pohjois-Suomen vesivaliokunta). V.Y. was also supported by Nazarbayev University (CRP Research Grant OPCRP2021021).
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.