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TitlePreliminary results from water-isotope characterization of groundwater, surface water, and precipitation in the Wilmot River watershed, Prince Edward Island
AuthorLiao, S L; Savard, M M; Somers, G H; Paradis, D; Jiang, Y
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Current Research (Online) no. 2005-D4, 2005, 10 pages, (Open Access)
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader)
ProvincePrince Edward Island
AreaWilmot River; Summerside; Northumberland Strait
Lat/Long WENS -64.0000 -63.5000 46.5000 46.2500
Subjectshydrogeology; geochemistry; environmental geology; watersheds; groundwater; surface waters; meteoric waters; precipitation; stable isotope studies; hydrogen isotopes; oxygen isotopes; water geochemistry; stream water geochemistry; groundwater geochemistry; atmospheric geochemistry; water quality analyses; pollutants; fertilizers, nitrogen; nitrate; water wells; health hazards; estuarine ecology; bedrock aquifers; aquifer tests; sedimentary rocks; sandstones; mudstones; tills; fractures; porosity; modelling; Wilmot River watershed; Summerside; Kensington; Wilmot Aquifer; Pictou Group; Lower Permian; agriculture; anthropogenic sources; recharge analysis; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Paleozoic; Permian
Illustrationslocation maps; models; block diagrams; topographic maps; hydrographs; sketch maps; plots
ProgramAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Funding Program
ProgramPrince Edward Island Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry, Funding Program
Released2005 11 01
AbstractAgricultural activity, especially the application of fertilizers, is believed to be a major source of nitrates in groundwater and surface water in Prince Edward Island. Analyses of 107 groundwater and 17 surface-water samples from 4 seasonal field operations in the Wilmot River watershed, and 13 precipitation samples, indicate that average annual nitrate concentrations in groundwater are 6.5 mg/L N-NO3, with 22%
of domestic wells exceeding the health guideline of 10 mg/L N-NO3. Concentrations in surface water average 6.2 mg/L N-NO3, but all are below 8 mg/L N-NO3. Stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen help delineate interactions between precipitation, groundwater and surface water. Groundwater values fall on or near the meteoric-water line for Charlottetown, indicating that groundwater may be derived entirely from modern local precipitation, although additional precipitation sampling is needed for confirmation. Surface waters have average isotope values similar to those for groundwater, implying that surface water is derived almost entirely from groundwater.