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Security of Deep Groundwater in the Coastal Bengal Basin Revealed by Tracers

Lapworth, DJ; Zahid, A; Taylor, RG; Burgess, WG; Shamsudduha, M; Ahmed, KM; Mukherjee, A; ... MacDonald, AM; + view all (2018) Security of Deep Groundwater in the Coastal Bengal Basin Revealed by Tracers. Geophysical Research Letters , 45 (16) pp. 8241-8252. 10.1029/2018GL078640. Green open access

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Abstract

Uncertainty persists regarding the vulnerability of deep groundwater across Asia's megadeltas. In the coastal Bengal Basin aquifer system, shallow groundwater (<100 m) commonly features high salinity or arsenic concentrations, and deep, better‐quality, groundwater supplies drinking water to >80 million people. Here we report new radiocarbon evidence from a network of nine dedicated, multilevel monitoring wells, which indicates residence times of between 103 and 104 years for groundwater at depths >150 m. Modern groundwater detected in some deep abstraction wells using anthropogenic tracers (SF6, CFCs) is attributed to short circuiting of shallow groundwater within wells. Age‐depth profiles and hydrochemical data in monitoring wells confirm the regional resilience of deep groundwater to ingress of shallow contaminated groundwater. Our results are consistent with high regional anisotropy in the aquifer and support continued use of deep groundwater though the potential for leakage of shallow contaminated groundwater in deep abstraction wells requires careful monitoring.

Type: Article
Title: Security of Deep Groundwater in the Coastal Bengal Basin Revealed by Tracers
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078640
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL078640
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Indo‐Gengetic, groundwater, security, tracers, residence times, deep groundwater
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056211
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