Characterizing the hydrogeology of a complex clay-rich aquitard system using detailed vertical profiles of the stable isotopes of water

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doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.01.010
Authors:Hendry, M. Jim; Kelln, C. J.; Wassenaar, L. I.; Shaw, J.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
University of Saskatchewan, Department of Geological Sciences, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Other:
Environment Canada, Canada
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Canada
Volume Title:Journal of Hydrology
Source:Journal of Hydrology, 293(1-4), p.47-56. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0022-1694
Publication Date:2004
Note:In English. 48 refs.; illus., incl. 1 table
Summary:High-resolution 1D profiles of the stable isotopes of porewater (δ2H and δ18O) obtained by direct porewater-equilibration of core samples were used to identify hydrogeologic zones in a thick, complex, till aquitard system in Saskatchewan, Canada. Detailed 1D isotope profiles revealed the presence of three distinct hydrogeological zones: an upper (5-10 m), an intermediate (10-30 m), and a lower (30-62.5 m) till zone. The upper hydrogeological zone was controlled by a sand layer having a high hydraulic conductivity (K). The lack of vertical variability in the stable isotope data in the intermediate zone suggested groundwater flow and solute transport was controlled by a system of interconnected vertical fractures and lateral sand layers. The curved shape of the isotope profile in the lower till zone suggested that solute transport in this zone was controlled mainly by molecular diffusion. We show that high-resolution vertical stable isotope profiles of porewater obtained from core samples and direct equilibration yield cost-effective and invaluable hydrogeologic information on groundwater flow in aquitard systems that cannot be realistically obtained by construction of costly conventional piezometer bundles (i.e. δ2H and δ18O analyses of water samples and K determinations). Further, the direct equilibration approach overcomes the problem of piezometer leakage in low K aquitards. Abstract Copyright (2004) Elsevier, B.V.
Subjects:Aquitards; Bedrock; Cenozoic; Characterization; Clastic sediments; Clay; Controls; Cretaceous; Deuterium; Diffusion; Geochemistry; Ground water; High-resolution methods; Hydraulic conductivity; Hydrochemistry; Hydrogen; Hydrogeology; Hydrostratigraphy; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Mesozoic; Movement; O-18/O-16; Oxygen; Pierre Shale; Pore water; Potentiometric surface; Quaternary; Reservoir rocks; Sand; Sediments; Solute transport; Stable isotopes; Till; Upper Cretaceous; Zoning; Canada; Saskatchewan; Western Canada; Battleford Formation; Empress Formation; Hatfield Valley; Sutherland Group
Record ID:2006014172
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands
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