APPLICATION OF STABLE ISOTOPES OF OXYGEN, HYDROGEN, AND CARBON TO HYDROGEOCHEMICAL STUDIES, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO CANADA DEL ORO VALLEY AND THE TUCSON BASIN (GEOCHEMISTRY, ISOTOPE, CARBON-14).
KeywordsGeochemistry -- Data processing.
Geochemistry -- Arizona -- Tucson Region -- Data processing.
Geochemistry -- Arizona -- Pima County -- Data processing.
Hydrogeology -- Data processing.
Isotope geology -- Data processing.
Isotope geology -- Arizona -- Tucson Region -- Data processing.
Isotope geology -- Arizona -- Pima County -- Data processing.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractHydrogeochemical studies are generally qualitative in nature. The goal of this study is to investigate the possibility of quantitative interpretation of hydrogeochemistry by considering the chemical characteristics and the isotopic compositions of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon of the water. This study examines ephemeral stream and well waters from Canada del Oro valley, southern Arizona. By chemical and isotopic considerations, this study finds that the change of chemical composition of the wash water was mainly due to water-rock interaction. The concentrations of dissolved constituents increase between 10 to 50% from upstream to downstream samples, while the evaporation loss of water is less than 3%. By chemical and isotopic considerations of the well waters, this study identifies three recharge waters in the CDO ground-water system. The chemical and water isotopic compositions of the well waters are results of mixing between these three recharge waters and subsequent dissolution of the aquifer. By thermodynamic consideration, albite, kaolinite, montmorillonite, and calcite are the main phases that influence the chemical characteristics of this ground-water system. Simulations with the computer program PHREEQE verifies the above conclusions. The mechanisms that influence the chemical and carbon isotopic compositions of the water are quite different in a system open to a CO2 gas reservoir than in a closed system. Deines, Langmuir, and Harmon (1974) derived a set of chemical-isotopic equations to calculate the carbon isotopic composition of water under open system condition. Wigley, Plummer, and Pearson (1978) formulated a mass transfer equation to calculate the change of carbon isotopic composition of natural water in closed system environment. This study implements these two type of equations as a subroutine--CSOTOP to the computer program PHREEQE. With this PHREEQE-CSOTOP package, the evolution of carbon chemical and isotopic composition of natural water can be conveniently modeled from open to closed system conditions. This study also uses this package to date water samples from the Tucson basin, and finds that choice of reaction path may cause a difference in carbon-14 age of up to a few thousand years. This study concludes that it is possible to rigorously interpret hydrogeochemistry in a quantitative way. With sufficient measurements to define the reaction path, followed by thermodynamic consideration, chemical-isotopic evaluation, and computer modeling, one should be able to achieve this goal.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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