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Journal of Arid Land  2016, Vol. 8 Issue (5): 694-706    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-016-0086-8
Research Articles     
Groundwater contributions in water-salt balances of the lakes in the Badain Jaran Desert, China
GONG Yanping1, WANG Xusheng1*, HU B Xiao1, ZHOU Yangxiao2, HAO Chunbo1, WAN Li1
1 MOE Key Laboratory of Groundwater Circulation and Evolution, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China;
2 Water Engineering Department, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, DA Delft 2601, Netherland
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Abstract  Groundwater-fed lakes are essential for the ecology in arid and semiarid regions. As a typical arid region, the Badain Jaran Desert (BJD) is famous in the world for the presence of a large number of groundwater-fed saline lakes among the mega dunes. Based on the up to date geological surveys and observations, this study analyzed the groundwater contributions in water-salt balances of the lakes in the desert. We found different types of springs, including the sublacustrine springs that indicate an upward flow of groundwater under the lakebed. A simplified water balance model was developed to analyze the seasonal variations of water level in the SumuBarunJaran Lake, which revealed an approximately steady groundwater discharge in the lake and explained why the amplitude of seasonal changes in lake level is less than 0.5 m. In addition, a salt balance model was developed to evaluate the salt accumulations in the groundwater-fed lakes. The relative salt accumulation time is 800–7,000 years in typical saline lakes, which were estimated from the concentration of Cl, indicating a long history evolution for the lakes in the BJD. Further researches are recommended to provide comprehensive investigations on the interactions between the lakes and groundwater in the BJD.

Key wordsChinese Tianshan Mountains      climate change      glacial change      regional differences      water resources     
Received: 02 June 2015      Published: 15 June 2016

This study was supported by the China Foundation for the Author of National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation (201457) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91125024).

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GONG Yanping, WANG Xusheng, HU B Xiao, ZHOU Yangxiao, HAO Chunbo, WAN Li. Groundwater contributions in water-salt balances of the lakes in the Badain Jaran Desert, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2016, 8(5): 694-706.

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