Identifying the regional-scale groundwater-surface water interaction on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China
School of Engineering
Assessment on the interaction between groundwater and surface water (GW-SW) can generate information that is critical to regional water resource management, especially for regions that are highly dependent on groundwater resources for irrigation. This study investigated such interaction on China’s Sanjiang Plain (10.9 × 104 km2) and produced results to assist sustainable regional water management for intensive agricultural activities. Methods of hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), principal component analysis (PCA), and statistical analysis were used in this study. One hundred two water samplings (60 from shallow groundwater, 7 from deep groundwater, and 35 from surface water) were collected and grouped into three clusters and seven sub-clusters during the analyses. The PCA analysis identified four principal components of the interaction, which explained 85.9 % variance of total database, attributed to the dissolution and evolution of gypsum, feldspar, and other natural minerals in the region that was affected by anthropic and geological (sedimentary rock mineral) activities. The analyses showed that surface water in the upper region of the Sanjiang Plain gained water from local shallow groundwater, indicating that the surface water in the upper region was relatively more resilient to withdrawal for usage, whereas in the middle region, there was only a weak interaction between shallow groundwater and surface water. In the lower region of the Sanjiang Plain, surface water lost water to shallow groundwater, indicating that the groundwater was vulnerable to pollution by pesticides and fertilizers from terrestrial sources.