Articles | Volume 22, issue 8
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4267–4279, 2018
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4267–4279, 2018

Research article 13 Aug 2018

Research article | 13 Aug 2018

High-frequency NO3 isotope (δ15N, δ18O) patterns in groundwater recharge reveal that short-term changes in land use and precipitation influence nitrate contamination trends

Martin Suchy et al.

Related subject area

Subject: Groundwater hydrology | Techniques and Approaches: Modelling approaches
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Cited articles

Amberger, A. and Schmidt, H. L.: The natural isotope content of nitrate as an indicator of its origin, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 51, 2699–2705, 1987. 
Aravena, R. and Robertson, W.: Use of multiple Isotope Tracers to Evaluate Denitrification in Groundwater, Study of Nitrate from a Large-Flux Septic System Plume, Ground Water, 36, 975–982, 1998. 
Aravena, R., Evans, M. L., and Cherry, J. A.: Stable isotopes of oxygen and nitrogen in source identification of NO3 – from septic systems, Ground Water, 31, 180–186, 1993. 
Armstrong, J. E., Crandell, D. R., Easterbrook, D. J., and Noble, J. B.: Late Pleistocence stratigraphy and chronology of southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull.,76, 321–330, 1965. 
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Short summary
Groundwater contamination by nitrate is a global problem. Understanding sources and transformations of nitrate in aquifers is key to inform remediation, and isotopes of nitrate (15N, 18O) are used for this. Most isotopic investigations are synoptic studies. Here we show that high-frequency nitrate isotope sampling of aquifer recharge better reveals the impact of short-term changes in land use practice or climatic conditions that need to be taken into account when considering long-term trends.