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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 3, p. 804-815
    Received: Dec 31, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): kklee@snu.ac.kr
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Identification of the Source of Nitrate Contamination in Ground Water below an Agricultural Site, Jeungpyeong, Korea

  1. Seong-Chun Juna,
  2. Gwang-Ok Baea,
  3. Kang-Kun Lee *a and
  4. Hyung-Jae Chungb
  1. a School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea
    b Rural Research Institute, Korea Agricultural & Rural Infrastructure Corporation, Sa-dong 1031-7, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi 426-170, Korea


This study applied hydrogeological characterization and isotope investigation to identify source locations and to trace a plume of ground water contaminated by nitrate. Most of the study site is agricultural fields with the remainder being residential. A poultry farm is also within the study area, so that potential point and nonpoint sources were present. Estimates of seasonal ground water recharge from irrigation and precipitation, leakage of sewage, and the regional ground water flow were linked to the seasonal changes in isotopic values. Ground water recharge largely occurred in spring and summer following precipitation or irrigation, depending on the locations. Natural and fertilized soils were identified as nonpoint sources of nitrate contamination in this area, while septic and animal wastes were identified as small point sources. The seasonal changes in the relative impact of these sources on ground water contamination were related to such factors as source distribution, the aquifer confining condition, precipitation rate, infiltration capacity, recharge rate, and the land use pattern.

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