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Direct stable isotope porewater equilibration and identification of groundwater processes in heterogeneous sedimentary rock

journal contribution
posted on 2015-12-15, 00:00 authored by K David, Wendy TimmsWendy Timms, A Baker
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.. The off-axis integrated cavity output spectrometry (ICOS) method to analyse porewater isotopic composition has been successfully applied over the last decade in groundwater studies. This paper applies the off-axis ICOS method to analyse the porewater isotopic composition, attempts to use the isotopic shift in groundwater values along with simple geochemical mixing model to define the groundwater processes in the Sydney Basin, Australia. Complementary data included geophysical, hydrogeological, geochemical, and mineralogical investigations. Porewater from core samples were analysed for δ18O and δ2H from various sedimentary units in the Basin and compared to endpoint water members. Stable δ18O and δ2H values of porewaters in the Basin (-9.5 to 2.8‰ for δ18O and -41.9 to 7.9‰ for δ2H) covered a relatively narrow range in values. The variability in water isotopes reflects the variability of the input signal, which is the synoptic variability in isotopic composition of rainfall, and to a minor extent the subsequent evaporation. The porosity, bulk density and mineralogy data demonstrate the heterogeneity that adds the complexity to variations in the isotope profile with depth. The source of chloride in the sedimentary sequence was related to rock-water and cement/matrix-water interaction rather than to evaporation. The heterogeneous character of the sedimentary rock strata was supported by a change in pore pressures between units, density and variability in rock geochemical analyses obtained by using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray power diffraction analyses. This research identified distinct hydrogeological zones in the Basin that were not previously defined by classic hydrogeological investigations. Isotopic signature of porewaters along the detailed vertical profile in combination with mineralogical, geochemical, geophysical and hydrogeological methods can provide useful information on groundwater movement in deep sedimentary environments. The findings of the study are valuable in management of sensitive ecosystems and potable resources above mining areas.

History

Journal

Science of the total environment

Volume

538

Pagination

1010 - 1023

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0048-9697

eISSN

1879-1026

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Elsevier

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