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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 3812125, 15 pages
Research Article

Multivariate Analysis of Confined Groundwater Hydrochemistry of a Long-Exploited Sedimentary Basin in Northwest China

Xuedi Zhang,1,2 Hui Qian,1,2 Hao Wu,1,2 Jie Chen,1,2 and Liang Qiao1,2

1School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Chang’an University, No. 126, Yanta Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710054, China
2Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecology in Arid Areas, Ministry of Education, No. 126, Yanta Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710054, China

Received 15 September 2015; Revised 18 January 2016; Accepted 8 February 2016

Academic Editor: Samuel B. Dampare

Copyright © 2016 Xuedi Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A series of environmental and geological problems have been caused by overexploitation of confined aquifers (i.e., deep groundwater) in the Yinchuan region, northwest China. Accordingly, the characteristics of confined water were analyzed and collected from 33 sampling wells in spring of 2011, to determine the factors that influenced the composition and evolution of confined water, using principal component analysis (PCA), correlation analysis, groundwater evolution, and mineral dissolution/precipitation analysis. PCA showed that the hydrochemistry of confined water is controlled mainly by the dissolution of minerals, mixing between the confined aquifer and polluted phreatic water, and effects of ion exchange in the study area. The following management actions recommended were essential, in order to enable the sustainable exploitation of confined water: () gradually decreasing the amount of groundwater pumped from confined aquifer in the central part of the depression cone, () upgrading the quality of phreatic water, and () increasing artificial recharge of the groundwater system by flood waters in the Helan leaning pluvial plain.