About this Research Topic
In recent decades, environmental isotopes have contributed immensely to studies and investigations in hydrogeology, complementing both physical and chemical hydrogeology. Many hydrogeological studies (including those of surface water and groundwater) use isotopes of the water molecule to determine water quality, origin, recharge mechanisms, rock-water interactions, hydrological processes, approximate ages, sources and pathways, and present chemical tracers. For instance, oxygen and hydrogen isotopes of water are adapted by the meteoric process, and groundwater recharge in a particular environment will acquire a characteristic isotopic signature. Similarly, tritium-helium and krypton-85 isotopes are used for age dating; nitrogen and sulfate isotopes for pollution sources; and radon isotope for weathering process.
Isotope tracers have been extremely useful in providing new insights into hydrological processes because they integrate the small scale variability of the physical and chemical behavior of water at different stages to give an effective indication of the processes occurring at a catchment scale. Environmental isotopes represent one of the most useful tools in hydrochemistry when investigating geochemical evolution, recharge processes, rock-water interaction and the origin of salinity and contaminant processes.
A large number of the applications of environmental isotopes in hydrogeology have been in the arid and semiarid areas of the world, where water scarcity is the most acute and poses constraints on economic development and water management. This Research Topic aims to address global issues on the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater resources using various environmental isotopes. The potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Introductions to stable isotopes in water;
• Hydrogeological processes;
• Recharge mechanism;
• Rock-water interaction;
• Groundwater dating;
• Isotope tracer;
• Pollution source identification;
• Groundwater management.
Keywords: environmental isotopes, chemical hydrogeology, hydrogeology, physical hydrogeology, recharge mechanisms, Isotope tracers, Groundwater management, Water Resource Management
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