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Understanding the hydrogeology and surface flow in the Cuatrocienegas Basin (NE Mexico) using stable isotopes

Felstead, NJ, Leng, MJ, Metcalfe, SE and Gonzalez, S (2015) Understanding the hydrogeology and surface flow in the Cuatrocienegas Basin (NE Mexico) using stable isotopes. JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS, 121. pp. 15-23. ISSN 0140-1963

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In this paper we present surface water oxygen (δ18O), hydrogen (δD) and inorganic carbon (δ13CDIC) isotope data to gain a better understanding of the modern day hydrogeology of Cuatrociénegas Basin, a semi-arid region in northeastern Mexico. Our study focuses on 26 water samples collected in March 2008 to investigate: 1) current provenance and flow pathways of surface waters, 2) the use of stable isotopes in identifying water loss and environmental degradation, and 3) human influence on hydrogeology. δ18O for Cuatrociénegas water samples ranged from −7.99 to +4.97‰ (mean −5.23 ± 3.13‰), δD from −54.8 to +0.3‰ (mean −42.4 ± 14.4‰), and δ13CTDICfrom −21.6 to −9.2‰ (mean −14.3 ± 3.4‰). Samples collected progressively away from their respective spring lines display increasing δ18O and δD values. Isotope data suggest that where the residence time of the groundwater is long and/or the system is hydrologically open, δ18O may not be a reliable indicator of water loss and environmental degradation. Our data suggest the central ciénega (area W(b)) is the most viable area for palaeoenvironmental study and long term monitoring is an essential tool in the identification of ecosystem damage and response, allowing for better future management of the complex and fragile CCB ecosystem.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 04 Earth Sciences, 05 Environmental Sciences, 06 Biological Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
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Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2016 08:39
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2022 09:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2015.05.009
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3136
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