Natural baseline groundwater quality in Shingwang-Myeon and Heunghae-Eup, Pohang, Korea

Hyun A. Lee, Hyunjoo Lee, Eunhye Kwon, Jonghoon Park, Nam C. Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results of long-term groundwater level and quality monitoring can be used not only as the basic data for evaluating the impact of various disasters including climate change and establishing responses, but also as key data for predicting and managing geological disasters such as earthquakes. Some countries use groundwater level and quality monitoring for researches to predict earthquakes and to assess the impacts of the earthquake disaster. However, a few cases in Korea report on individual groundwater quality factors (i.e., dissolved ions) observed before and after the earthquakes, being different from other countries. To establish the abnormality criteria for groundwater quality in Pohang, groundwater samples were collected and analyzed five times from 14 agricultural or private wells existing in Shingwang-myeon and Heunghae-eup. As a result of the analysis, it was found that Ca2+ was the dominant cation in Shingwang-myeon, while Na+ was the dominant cation in Heunghae-eup. The elevated NO3- concentration in Shingwang-myeon is contributed to the agricultural activity in the area. A high concentration of Fe was detected in a well on Heunghae-eup; the concentration exceeded the drinking water standard by nearly 100 times. Relatively higher dissolved ions were observed in the groundwater of Heunghae-eup, and it is considered as the result of the flow velocity difference and water-rock reaction accompanying the difference in bedrock and sediment characteristics. The groundwater of Shingwang-myeon appeared to be most affected by the weathering of granite and silicates, while that of Heunghae-eup was mainly affected by the weathering of silicates and carbonate. The background concentrations (baselines) of groundwater Shingwang-myeon and Heunghae-eup was identified through the survey; however, the continuous monitoring is required to monitor the possible changes and the repeatability of seasonal variation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-483
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Engineering Geology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Korean Society of Engineering Geology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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