Revisiting Mt. Fuji's groundwater origins with helium, vanadium and eDNA tracers

Schilling, O. S. and Nagaosa, K. and Schilling, T. U. and Brennwald, M. S. and Sohrin, R. and Tomonaga, Y. and Kipfer, R. and Brunner, P. and Kato, K.. (2023) Revisiting Mt. Fuji's groundwater origins with helium, vanadium and eDNA tracers. Nature Water, 1. pp. 60-73.

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Known locally as the water mountain , for millennia Japan's iconic Mt. Fuji has provided safe drinking water to millions of people via a vast network of groundwater and freshwater springs. Groundwater, which is recharged at high elevations, flows down Fuji's flanks within three basaltic aquifers, ultimately forming countless pristine freshwater springs along Fuji's foothills. Here, we challenge the current conceptual model of Fuji being a simple system of laminar groundwater flow with little to no vertical exchange between its three aquifers. This model contrasts strongly with Fuji's extreme tectonic instability due to its unique location on top of the only known continental trench-trench-trench triple junction, its complex geology, and its unusual microbial spring water communities. Based on a unique combination of microbial environmental DNA (eDNA), vanadium, and helium tracers, we provide evidence for prevailing deep circulation and previously unknown deep groundwater contribution to Fuji's freshwater springs. The most substantial deep groundwater upwelling has been found along Japan's tectonically most active Fujikawa-kako Fault Zone. Our findings broaden the hydrogeological understanding of Fuji and demonstrate the vast potential of combining eDNA, on-site noble gas, and trace element analyses for groundwater science.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Hydrogeologie (Schilling)
UniBasel Contributors:Schilling, Oliver and Tomonaga, Yama
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer Nature
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article -- Additional publication or translation in: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-04561-z
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Last Modified:23 Jan 2023 13:36
Deposited On:23 Jan 2023 13:36

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