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Isotopic compositions of sulphate (δ18O and δ34S) have been analysed in groundwaters from a karst aquifer in Xingwen, China to assess their use as indigenous tracers of different pollutant sulphate sources. Sulphate δ18O is highly effective at distinguishing sulphate from atmospheric ‘acid rain’ sources (higher δ18O values) from sulphate produced by aqueous pyrite oxidation (natural or acid mine drainage), which always has lower δ18O. The range of sulphate δ34S produced by aqueous oxidation of different pyrite sources is sufficiently wide to enable different natural and pollutant sulphate...

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