Pollution indicators in groundwater of two agricultural catchments in Lower Silesia (Poland)

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Abstract

The article discusses the content and source of mineral nitrogen compounds in groundwater, based on the data collected in two river catchments in two series (spring and autumn 2014). The study area comprises two catchments located in Lower Silesia, Poland - Cicha Woda and Sąsiecznica. Both catchments are characterised agricultural character of development. In the both researched areas, the points of State Environmental Monitoring (SEM) are located but only the Cicha Woda area is classified as nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ). To analyse and compare the contamination of Quaternary and Neogene aquifers, the concentration of nitrates, nitrites, ammonium and potassium ions was measured primarily. Results showed the exceedance of nitrogen mineral forms of shallow groundwater Quaternary aquifer in both basins. The concentration of nitrates range from 0.08 to 142.12 mgNO3 −−/dm3 (Cicha Woda) and from 2.6 to 137.65 mg NO3 −−/dm3 (Sąsiecznica). The major source of pollution is probably the intensive agriculture activity. It causes a degradation of the shallow groundwater because of nitrate, nitrite, potassium, phosphates and ammonium contents. There was no observed contamination of anthropogenic origin in the deeper Neogene aquifer of Cicha Woda catchment.

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