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 journalArticlepeer-review

64 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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