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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On the Isotopic Composition of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon in Rivers and Shallow Groundwater: A Diagrammatic Approach to Process Identification and a More Realistic Model of the Open SystemTaylor, C. B. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1997-01-01)Rivers and shallow groundwater are deep groundwater precursors. Their dissolved inorganic carbon content (DIC) and its isotopic composition are end members in the evolution of these properties in confined situations, and are therefore essential information when applying carbon isotopes as tracers of groundwater processes and determining aquifer residence times using 14C. During studies of regional aquifer systems in New Zealand, a simple model has been developed to explain the isotopic compositions of DIC encountered in rivers and shallow groundwater. The model format incorporates a diagrammatic approach, providing a framework for tracing the subsequent evolution of DIC in both precipitation-and river-recharged aquifers under closed conditions. DIC concentration of rivers continuously adjusts toward chemical and isotopic equilibrium between direct addition of CO2 to the water (via plant respiration and decay of dead organic material) and exchange of CO2 across the river-air interface. In the shallow groundwater situation, the gaseous reservoir is soil CO2, generally at significantly higher partial pressure. In both cases, calcite dissolution or other processes may be an additional source of DIC directly added to the bicarbonate and dissolved CO2 components; while these may add or remove DIC, steady-state isotopic concentrations are considered to be determined only by the dynamic balance between directly added CO2 and gas exchange. This model allows the calculation of steady states, using selectable parameters in river or groundwater situations. These appear as straight lines in 13C or 14C vs. 1/DIC, or total 14C vs. DIC plots, into which the experimental data can be inserted for interpretation. In the case of 14C, the steady-state balance is very often complicated by the presence of an old component in the directly added DIC; the understanding achieved via the 13C patterns is helpful in recognizing this. Data from four contrasting aquifer systems in New Zealand. The success of the approach has depended crucially on DIC concentrations measured very accurately on the isotope samples, rather than separate chemical analyses.
In-Situ Cosmogenic 14C: Production and Examples of its Unique Applications in Studies of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial ProcessesLal, D.; Jull, A. J. T. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)Nuclear interactions of cosmic rays produce a number of stable and radioactive isotopes on the earth (Lal and Peters 1967). Two of these, 14C and 10Be, find applications as tracers in a wide variety of earth science problems by virtue of their special combination of attributes: 1) their source functions, 2) their half-lives, and 3) their chemical properties. The radioisotope, 14C (half-life = 5730 yr) produced in the earth's atmosphere was the first to be discovered (Anderson et al. 1947; Libby 1952). The next longer-lived isotope, also produced in the earth's atmosphere, 10Be (half-life = 1.5 myr) was discovered independently by two groups within a decade (Arnold 1956; Goel et al. 1957; Lal 1991a). Both the isotopes are produced efficiently in the earth's atmosphere, and also in solids on the earth's surface. Independently and jointly they serve as useful tracers for characterizing the evolutionary history of a wide range of materials and artifacts. Here, we specifically focus on the production of 14C in terrestrial solids, designated as in-situ-produced 14C (to differentiate it from atmospheric 14C, initially produced in the atmosphere). We also illustrate the application to several earth science problems. This is a relatively new area of investigations, using 14C as a tracer, which was made possible by the development of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The availability of the in-situ 14C variety has enormously enhanced the overall scope of 14C as a tracer (singly or together with in-situ-produced 10Be), which eminently qualifies it as a unique tracer for studying earth sciences.
Behavior of lutetium-hafnium, samarium-neodymium and rubidium-strontium isotopic systems during processes affecting continental crust.Patchett, P.J.; Barovich, Karin Marie.; Snow, Eleanour; Coney, Peter (The University of Arizona., 1991)Combined Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr isotopic studies of continental crustal rocks were undertaken to assess the relative effects of secondary crustal processes on isotopic systematics of whole-rock systems. The processes studied include ductile deformation, and three cases of hydrothermal alteration, involving fluids of varying composition. The Rb-Sr system proved to be easily disturbed during all secondary processes, while Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf systems were, for the most part, resilient. These results show that Nd or Hf isotopic information obtained from old rocks that have undergone typical crustal deformational and alteration events can be counted on to be equally reliable. Nd and Hf isotopic analyses were performed on four suites of Early Archean felsic gneiss complexes from Greenland, Labrador, Swaziland, and Michigan to explore questions associated with Early Archean crustal growth. The Sm-Nd isotopic data yield initial ∊(Nd) values that are mostly consistent with published age data for the suites. Calculations show limited scatter may be attributed to subtle changes in the Sm/Nd ratio or Nd isotopic composition. The Hf isotopic results are more variable and complex than the Nd results. The relevance of the studies on isotopic mobility in the first part of this work is that they have demonstrated that Nd and Hf isotopes are equally resilient during a range of secondary crustal processes. Given the robustness of the Nd isotopic data from the Archean samples, however, it seems unreasonable to attribute the much wider variation in Hf isotopic data to post-Archean isotopic disturbances. Differences in initial Hf isotopic ratios from differing magma sources seem called for. Nd and Hf whole-rock analyses of a Late Archean pristine garnet-bearing granitoid complex from northern Canada point out the importance of garnet in fractionating Lu/Hf ratios, and in developing anomalous ∊(Hf) signatures in potential source regions. Calculations show that even short-lived upper mantle/lower crustal heterogeneities, products of previous partial melting events involving garnet fractionation, can develop the range of positive and negative ∊(Hf) values seen in the Early Archean samples.