Monitoring of recharge water quality under woodland

G. J.W. Krajenbrink, D. Ronen, W. Van Duijvenbooden, M. Magaritz, D. Wever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The study compares the quality of groundwater in the water table zone and soil moisture below the root zone, under woodland, with the quality of the regional precipitation. The water quality under forest shows evidence of the effect of atmospheric deposition of acidic components (e.g. SO2) and ammonia volatilized from land and feed lots. Detailed chemical profiles of the upper meter of groundwater under different plots of forest, at varying distances from cultivated land, were obtained with a multilayer sampler, using the dialysis-cell method. Porous ceramic cups and a vacuum method were used to obtain soil moisture samples at 1.20 m depth under various types of trees, an open spot and arable land, for the period of a year. The investigation took place in the recharge area of a pumping station with mainly mixed forest, downwind of a vast agricultural area with high ammonia volatilization and underlain by an ice-deformed aquifer. Very high NO-3 concentrations were observed in soil moisture and groundwater (up to 21 mg Nl-1) under coniferous forest, especially in the border zone. This raises the question of the dilution capacity of recharge water under woodland in relation to the polluted groundwater under farming land. The buffering capacity of the unsaturated zone varies substantially and locally a low pH (4.5) was observed in groundwater. The large variability of leachate composition on different scales under a forest and the lesser but still significant concentration differences in the groundwater prove the importance of a monitoring system for the actual solute flux into the groundwater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-102
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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