Characterization of groundwater level and water quality by classification of aquifer types in south korea

Jae Min Lee, Kyung Seok Ko, Nam C. Woo

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The National Groundwater Monitoring Network (NGMN) in South Korea has been implemented in alluvial/ bedrock aquifers for efficient management of groundwater resources. In this study, aquifer types were reclassified with unconfined and confined aquifers based on water-level fluctuation and water quality characteristics. Principal component analysis (PCA) of water-level data from paired monitoring wells of alluvial/bedrock aquifers results in the principal components of both aquifers showing similar water-level fluctuation pattern. There was no significant difference in the rate of water-level rises responding to precipitations and in the NO3-N concentrations between the alluvial and bedrock aquifers. In contrast, in the results classified with the hydrogeological type, the principal components of water level were different between unconfined and confined conditions. The water-level rises to precipitation events were estimated to be 4.6 (R2=0.8) in the unconfined and 2.1 (R2=0.4) in the confined aquifers, respectively, indicating less impact of precipitation recharge to the confined aquifer. The confined aquifers have the average NO3-N concentration below 3 mg/L, implying the natural background level protected from the sources at surface. In summary, reclassification of aquifers into hydrogeological types clearly shows the differences between unconfined and confined aquifers in the water-level fluctuation pattern and NO3-N concentrations. The hydrogeologic condition of aquifer could improve groundwater resource management by providing critical information on groundwater quantity through recharge estimation and quality for protection from potential contamination sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-629
Number of pages11
JournalEconomic and Environmental Geology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Korean Society of Economic and Environmental Geology. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology


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