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Temporal variability of micro-organic contaminants in lowland chalk catchments: new insights into contaminant sources and hydrological processes

Manamsa, K.; Lapworth, D.J.; Stuart, M.E.. 2016 Temporal variability of micro-organic contaminants in lowland chalk catchments: new insights into contaminant sources and hydrological processes. Science of The Total Environment, 568. 566-577. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.146

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Abstract/Summary

This paper explores the temporal variation of a broad suite of micro organic (MO) compounds within hydrologically linked compartments of a lowland Chalk catchment, the most important drinking water aquifer in the UK. It presents an assessment of results from relatively high frequency monitoring at a well-characterised site, including the type and concentrations of compounds detected and how they change under different hydrological conditions including exceptionally high groundwater levels and river flow conditions during 2014 and subsequent recovery. This study shows for the first time that within the Chalk groundwater there can be a greater diversity of the MOs compared to surface waters. Within the Chalk 26 different compounds were detected over the duration of the study compared to 17 in the surface water. Plasticisers (0.06–39 μg/L) were found to dominate in the Chalk groundwater on 5 visits (38.4%) accounting for 14.5% of detections but contributing highest concentrations whilst other compounds dominated in the surface water. Trichloroethene and atrazine were among the most frequently detected compounds. The limit for the total pesticide concentration detected did not exceed EU/UK prescribed concentration values for drinking water. Emerging organic compounds such as caffeine, which currently do not have water quality limits, were also detected. The low numbers of compounds found within the hyporheic zone highlight the role of this transient interface in the attenuation and breakdown of the MOs, and provision of an important ecosystem service.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.146
ISSN: 00489697
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Groundwater quality
Date made live: 20 May 2016 14:44 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513686

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