GeoHint: Hydrochemical Geogenic Background Values of Sulfate

The hydrochemical composition of groundwater results from the geochemical makeup of the aquifer and from anthropogenic input.

To evaluate groundwater quality and to detect possible anthropogenic contamination requires the separation of these two sources of input.

After subtraction of the anthropogenic part, the hydrochemical content of groundwater reflects geological background levels. Naturally elevated concentrations of sulfate occur in the eastern and south-eastern parts of Austria and in the Calcareous Alps.