Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes for the characteristics of groundwater recharge: A case study from the Chih-Pen Creek basin, Taiwan

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Assessing the seasonal variation of groundwater recharge is important for effective management of groundwater resources. Stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen were used to estimate the sources of groundwater and seasonal contributions of precipitation to groundwater recharge in Chih-Pen Creek basin of eastern Taiwan. Based on the isotopes of precipitation (n = 177), two different local meteoric water regression lines (LMWL) can be obtained for the different seasons: δD = 8.0618O + 10.08 for wet season precipitation (May through October) and δD = 8.65δ18O + 17.09 for dry season precipitation (November through April). The slope and intercept of regression line for wet season precipitation are virtually identical to the global meteoric water line (GMWL) of Craig (1961). In contrast to during dry season precipitation due to evaporation effect the intercept of 17.09 is much higher than of the GMWL of 10. The results show the stable isotopes compositions of precipitation decrease with increasing rainfall amount and air temperature, due to the amount effect of precipitation is pronounced. The amount effect is clearly but do not show the temperature effect from January to December 2007. Using a mass-balance equation, a comparison of deuterium excess or d values of precipitation and groundwater indicates the groundwater consist of 76% wet season precipitation and 24% dry season precipitation, representing a distinct seasonal variation of groundwater recharge in study area. About 79% of the groundwater is recharged from the river water of the mountain watershed and 21% is from the rain that falls on the basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-402
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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