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Behaviour of boron and strontium isotopes in groundwater–aquifer interactions in the Cornia Plain (Tuscany, Italy)

Abstract : The Cornia Plain alluvial aquifer, in Tuscany, is exploited intensely to meet the demand for domestic, irrigation and industrial water supplies. The B concentration of groundwater, however, is often above the European limit of 1 mg L−1, with the result that exploitation of these water resources requires careful management. Boron and Sr isotopes have been used as part of a study on the origin and distribution of B dissolved in groundwater, and indirectly as a contribution to the development of appropriate water management strategies. The geochemistry of the Cornia Plain groundwater changes from a HCO3 facies in the inland areas to a Cl facies along the coastal belt, where seawater intrusion takes place. The B concentration of groundwater increases towards the coastal areas, while the 11B/10B ratio decreases. This indicates that there is an increasing interaction between dissolved B and the sediments forming the aquifer matrix, whose B content is in the order of 100 mg kg−1. Adsorption–desorption exchanges take place between water and the sediment fine fraction rich in clay minerals, with a net release of B from the matrix into the groundwater, and a consequent δ11B shift from positive to negative values. The aquifer matrix sediments therefore seem to be the major source of B dissolved in the groundwater. The groundwater–matrix interactions triggered by the ionic strength increase caused by seawater intrusion can also be detected in the Ca–Na ion exchanges. Dissolved Sr follows a trend similar to that of Ca, while the 87Sr/86Sr ratio is equal to that of the exchangeable Sr of the aquifer matrix and therefore does not change significantly. These results have helped to define a new strategy for groundwater exploitation, with the final objective of reducing B concentration in the water extracted from the aquifer.
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Soumis le : mardi 16 août 2022 - 15:56:47
Dernière modification le : jeudi 1 septembre 2022 - 16:14:05

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Maddalena Pennisi, Gianluca Bianchini, Antonio Muti, Wolfram Kloppmann, Roberto Gonfiantini. Behaviour of boron and strontium isotopes in groundwater–aquifer interactions in the Cornia Plain (Tuscany, Italy). Applied Geochemistry, Elsevier, 2006, 21 (7), pp.1169-1183. ⟨10.1016/j.apgeochem.2006.03.001⟩. ⟨hal-03752342⟩

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