Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (7): 969-982.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201407009

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Water chemical properties and the element characteristics of natural water in Tibet, China

TIAN Yuan1,2, YU Chengqun1, LUO Kunli1, WU Jianshuang1, ZHANG Xianzhou1, NI Runxiang1,2, TIAN Xinglei1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2014-04-08 Revised:2014-06-03 Online:2014-07-20 Published:2014-07-20
  • Supported by:
    National Key Technologies R&D Program in the12th Five-year Plan of China, No.2011BAD17B05-4; No.2011BAC09B03; National Natural ScienceFoundation of China, No.41172310; No.40171006; Major State Basic Research Development Program of China(973), No.2014CB238906; National Science and Technology Support Project of China, No.2011BAD17B05-4;No.2011BAC09B03

Abstract: The water quality and the water feature in Tibet were studied in this article. In 2013, we collected 60 water samples (35 groundwater samples, 22 surface water samples and 3 hot spring water samples) from 36 counties, villages and towns in Lhasa, Nagqu, Ali and Shigatse of Tibet. The element contents of the water samples were tested and compared with other regions such as southeast Qinghai, south Xinjiang, east Sichuan and west Tibet. Moreover, hydrochemical types in different areas were discussed. Generally, the water in most parts of Tibet is of good quality and reaches the national standards for drinking water. The pH values of water samples range from 6.75 to 8.21; The mean value of TDS is 225.54 mg/L; The arsenic content in water in Ali exceeds the permitted amounts of the national standards for drinking water (10 μg/L); The fluorine content in water of Shuanghu exceeds the permitted values of the national standards for drinking water (1 mg/L); The main hydrochemical type of water in Tibet is Ca-HCO3. From south to north, the main cations in water change from Ca2+ to Na+, while the main anions in water change from HCO3-to Cl- and SO42-. The genetic type of river water and glacier melt water is rock dominance and the groundwater formation is affected by many factors. Tectonic division determines the water main elements and affects hydrochemical types of water.

Key words: water quality, Tibet, water element contents, water chemistry