Hydrochemistry of urban groundwater in Seoul, South Korea: Effects of land-use and pollutant recharge

Byoung Young Choi, Seong Taek Yun, Soon Young Yu, Pyeong Koo Lee, Seong Sook Park, Gi Tak Chae, Bernhard Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)


The ionic and isotopic compositions (δD, δ18O, and 3H) of urban groundwaters have been monitored in Seoul to examine the water quality in relation to land-use. High tritium contents (6.1-12.0 TU) and the absence of spatial/seasonal change of O-H isotope data indicate that groundwaters are well mixed within aquifers with recently recharged waters of high contamination susceptibility. Statistical analyses show a spatial variation of major ions in relation to land-use type. The major ion concentrations tend to increase with anthropogenic contamination, due to the local pollutants recharge. The TDS concentration appears to be a useful contamination indicator, as it generally increases by the order of forested green zone (average 151 mg/l), agricultural area, residential area, traffic area, and industrialized area (average 585 mg/l). With the increased anthropogenic contamination, the groundwater chemistry changes from a Ca-HCO3 type toward a Ca-Cl(+NO3) type. The source and behavior of major ions are discussed and the hydrochemical backgrounds are proposed as the basis of a groundwater management plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-990
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct


  • Hydrochemistry
  • Korea
  • Land use and contamination
  • Seoul
  • Stable isotopes
  • Urban groundwater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Soil Science

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