Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158153
Title (Primary) Combined effects of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination on groundwater in coastal agricultural areas: A case from the Plain of the El-Nil River (North-Eastern Algeria)
Author Boumaiza, L.; Walter, J.; Chesnaux, R.; Zahi, F.; Huneau, F.; Garel, E.; Stotler, R.L.; Bordeleau, G.; Bordeleau, K.H.; Vystavna, Y.; Drias, T.; Re, V.; Knöller, K.; Stumpp, C.
Source Titel Science of the Total Environment
Year 2022
Department CATHYD
Volume 851, Part 1
Page From art. 158153
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Seawater intrusion; Nitrate contamination; Stable isotopes; Aquifer; HFE-D; MixSIAR
Abstract This study focuses on coastal aquifers subject to uncontrolled land use development by investigating the combined effects of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination. The research is undertaken in a Mediterranean coastal agricultural area (Plain of the El-Nil River, Algeria), where water resources are heavily impacted by anthropogenic activities. A multi-tracer approach, integrating hydrogeochemical and isotopic tracers (δ2HH2O, δ18OH2O, δ15NNO3 and δ18ONO3), is combined with a hydrochemical facies evolution diagram, and a Bayesian isotope mixing model (MixSIAR) to assess seawater contamination with its inland intrusion, and distinguish the nitrate sources and their apportionment. Results show that seawater intrusion is circumscribed to the sector neighboring the Mediterranean Sea, with two influencing functions including classic inland intrusion through the aquifer, and upstream seawater impact through the river mouth connected to the Mediterranean Sea. Groundwater and surface water samples reveal nitrate concentrations above the natural baseline threshold, suggesting anthropogenic influence. Results from nitrate isotopic composition, NO3 and Cl concentrations, and the MixSIAR model show that nitrate concentrations chiefly originate from sewage and manure sources. Nitrate derived from the sewage is related to wastewater discharge, whereas nitrate derived from the manure is attributed to an excessive use of animal manure to fertilise agricultural areas. The dual negative impact of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination degrades water quality over a large proportion of the study area. The outcomes of this study are expected to contribute to effective and sustainable water resources management in the Mediterranean coastal area. Furthermore, this study may improve scientists' ability to predict the combined effect of various anthropogenic stressors on coastal environments and help decision-makers elsewhere to prepare suitable environmental strategies for other regions currently undergoing an early stage of water resources deterioration.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Boumaiza, L., Walter, J., Chesnaux, R., Zahi, F., Huneau, F., Garel, E., Stotler, R.L., Bordeleau, G., Bordeleau, K.H., Vystavna, Y., Drias, T., Re, V., Knöller, K., Stumpp, C. (2022):
Combined effects of seawater intrusion and nitrate contamination on groundwater in coastal agricultural areas: A case from the Plain of the El-Nil River (North-Eastern Algeria)
Sci. Total Environ. 851, Part 1 , art. 158153 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158153