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2021-03-12 - Article/Dans un journal avec peer-review - Anglais - page(s)

Nikolenko Olha, Brouyere Serge, Goderniaux Pascal , Robert Tanguy, Orban Philippe, Borges Alberto V., Jurado Anna, Duvivier Maxime, Morana Cedric, "Dynamics of nitrous oxide with depth in groundwater: Insights from ambient groundwater and laboratory incubation experiments (Hesbaye chalk aquifer, Belgium)" in Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2021.103797

  • Edition : Elsevier (Netherlands)
  • Codes CREF : Hydrogéologie (DI1426)
  • Unités de recherche UMONS : Géologie fondamentale et appliquée (F401)
  • Instituts UMONS : Institut des Sciences et du Management des Risques (Risques), Institut de Recherche en Energétique (Energie)
Texte intégral :

Abstract(s) :

(Anglais) Aquifers under agricultural areas are considered to be an indirect source of nitrous oxide emission (N2O) to the atmosphere, which is the greenhouse gas (GHGs) characterized with the highest global warning potential and acts as a stratospheric ozone depletion agent. Previous investigations performed in the Cretaceous Hesbaye chalk aquifer in Eastern Belgium suggested that the dynamics of N2O in the aquifer is controlled by overlapping biochemical processes such as nitrification and denitrification. The current study aims to obtain better insight concerning the factors controlling the distribution of N2O concentration along a vertical dimension in the aquifer, and to capture and quantify the occurrence of nitrification and denitrification processes in the groundwater system. Low-flow groundwater sampling technique was undertaken at different depths in the aquifer to collect groundwater samples aiming at obtaining information about ambient aquifer hydrogeochemical conditions and their effect on the accumulation of GHGs. Afterwards, laboratory stable isotope experiments, using NO3- and NH4+ compounds labeled with heavy 15N isotope, were applied to quantify the rates of nitrification and denitrification processes. Ambient studies suggest that the occurrence of N transformation was related to denitrification while laboratory incubation experiments did not detect it. Such controversial results might be explained by the discrepancy between real aquifer conditions and lab design studies. Thus, additional in situ tracer experiments should be carried out in areas where natural groundwater fluxes do not flush the injected tracer too rapidly. In addition, it would be useful to conduct microbiological studies to obtain better insight into the nature of subsurface biofilm biotope.