Major ion geochemistry reveals that the hydrochemical evolutionary process of karst groundwater in the northeastern Huaibei Plain, China, consists of three sub-processes: the dissolution of dolomite, gypsum dissolution with dedolomitization, and mixing with overlying pore water. Understanding hydrochemical evolution has been an important topic in understanding the history, status, and dynamics of the groundwater flow system. The presented study found a hydrochemical boundary roughly corresponding to the thickness of overlying strata equating to 50 m depth, indicating two flow compartments participating in different hydrological cycles—a local shallow rapidly replenished compartment showing lower and more stable main ion concentrations, and a regional deep-flow compartment showing higher and sporadic concentrations of Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl− and SO4 2−, as well as high total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness, and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR). In areas with aquifers with low water transmitting ability, groundwater samples show a high chloride ratio and elevated TDS values, indicating salinization of groundwater due to stagnant water flows. Analyses of the data on the saturation indexes and mineral solutions, in tandem with trilinear diagram analysis and petrological observations, indicate that dedolomitization is the dominant process controlling the chemical characteristics of karst groundwater in the study area. Groundwater and pore-water mixing was also observed at the later evolutionary stage of groundwater flow, demonstrating frequent groundwater/pore-water interactions where groundwater is recharged by pore water due to lower groundwater level in the study area.
Hydrogeology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2018
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