Water quality and pollution in the Hunchun basin, China

Nam Chil Woo, Ji Won Moon, Joong Sum Won, Jeong Sang Hahn, Xue Yu Lin, Yong Sheng Zhao

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical properties and pollution of water resources were studied in the Hunchun basin, which is located in northeast China and borders directly North Korea and Russia along the Tumen river. Water quality was characterised according to its major constituents and geological features. Ground waters could generally be grouped into (Ca+Mg)-HCO3 type and (Ca+Mg)-(SO4+Cl) type in first and the second terrace areas, respectively. The mixing of these two types depends on the local conditions, such as pumping or permeability variations. Hunchun city is a pollution source for local water resources due to its uncontrolled sewage and urban discharge. In a previous study of the southwestern part of the Hunchun basin, groundwater contamination by Fe, Mn and NO3-N was reported. In addition, this study identified Cd and F as prevailing contaminants in the water resources. Pollution of water resources by these contaminants appeared to be affected by the application of fertilisers, irrigation practice, variation of aquifer characteristics, solubility of mineral phases, and discharge of domestic sewage. Wide distribution and high levels of Cd and F in surface- and ground waters could pose significant problems if they are utilised as major water supply sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
KOSEF of Korea (Grant 985-0400-003-2) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC) financially supported this research. The authors would like to express our appreciation to the members of Twelve Exploration Company in Hunchun City for their help in field surveying and sampling, and to the anonymous reviewers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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