Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.126
Title (Primary) Development and application of a novel method for regional assessment of groundwater contamination risk in the Songhua River Basin
Author Nixdorf, E.; Sun, Y.; Lin, M.; Kolditz, O. ORCID logo
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Year 2017
Department ENVINF
Volume 605–606
Page From 598
Page To 609
Language englisch
Keywords Groundwater contamination risk; Hazard; Intrinsic vulnerability; DRASTIC; Model sensitivity; Songhua River Basin
UFZ wide themes RU5;

The main objective of this study is to quantify the groundwater contamination risk of Songhua River Basin by applying a novel approach of integrating public datasets, web services and numerical modelling techniques. To our knowledge, this study is the first to establish groundwater risk maps for the entire Songhua River Basin, one of the largest and most contamination-endangered river basins in China.

Index-based groundwater risk maps were created with GIS tools at a spatial resolution of 30 arc sec by combining the results of groundwater vulnerability and hazard assessment. Groundwater vulnerability was evaluated using the DRASTIC index method based on public datasets at the highest available resolution in combination with numerical groundwater modelling. As a novel approach to overcome data scarcity at large scales, a web mapping service based data query was applied to obtain an inventory for potential hazardous sites within the basin.

The groundwater risk assessment demonstrated that < 1% of Songhua River Basin is at high or very high contamination risk. These areas were mainly located in the vast plain areas with hotspots particularly in the Changchun metropolitan area. Moreover, groundwater levels and pollution point sources were found to play a significantly larger impact in assessing these areas than originally assumed by the index scheme. Moderate contamination risk was assigned to 27% of the aquifers, predominantly associated with less densely populated agricultural areas. However, the majority of aquifer area in the sparsely populated mountain ranges displayed low groundwater contamination risk.

Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that this novel method is valid for regional assessments of groundwater contamination risk. Despite limitations in resolution and input data consistency, the obtained groundwater contamination risk maps will be beneficial for regional and local decision-making processes with regard to groundwater protection measures, particularly if other data availability is limited.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Nixdorf, E., Sun, Y., Lin, M., Kolditz, O. (2017):
Development and application of a novel method for regional assessment of groundwater contamination risk in the Songhua River Basin
Sci. Total Environ. 605–606 , 598 - 609