Earth Science Frontiers ›› 2023, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (2): 539-547.DOI: 10.13745/j.esf.sf.2022.1.23

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Characteristics of petroleum hydrocarbon-polluted karst groundwater environment: A case study of groundwater source in Dawu, Zibo City, northern China

GUO Yongli1,2(), XIAO Qiong1,2, ZHANG Cheng1,2,*(), WU Qing1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Karst Dynamics, MNR and GZAR, Institute of Karst Geology, CAGS, Guilin 541004, China
    2. International Research Centre on Karst under the Auspices of UNESCO; National Center for International Research on Karst Dynamic System and Global Change, Guilin 541004, China
  • Received:2021-08-26 Revised:2021-11-28 Online:2023-03-25 Published:2023-01-05
  • Contact: ZHANG Cheng


Karst aquifers are the main source of water in northern China. Here, the Dawu karst aquifer, located in Zibo City, Shandong Province, China, is selected to study the environmental characteristics of groundwater pollution due to petroleum hydrocarbons contamination, which would provide scientific guidance for sustainable utilization of karst groundwater resources and lay the foundation for studying the evolution of karst groundwater environment. Groundwater level, temperature, pH, Eh, DO, NO 3 -, SO 4 2 -, HCO 3 -, Cl-, trichloromethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, 1,2,3-trichloropropane, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene and ΣVOCs are selected as the hydrogeochemical indicators. Isotope technique, multivariable statistical method, graphical method and other methods are used to analyze the interrelationships among the hydrogeochemical indicators, in order to reveal the pollution processes and their influencing factors. Hydrodynamic field and environmental conditions in the aquifer are suitable for biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. The occurrences of aerobic and anaerobic respiration without methanogenic activities are demonstrated by hydrogeochemical indicators and isotopes. Although ΣVOC is the small part of DOC in the groundwater system, petroleum hydrocarbons are one of the most important factors influencing groundwater environment contributing 33.93% groundwater DIC on average. Thus, a comprehensive evaluation of the chemical characteristics of petroleum hydrocarbons-polluted groundwater can help to better understand the mechanisms influencing groundwater environment.

Key words: petroleum hydrocarbons, hydrogeochemical indicators, interrelationships

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