Natural springs have the potential to provide important information on hydrogeochemical processes within aquifers. This study used traditional and classic technical methods and procedures to determine the characteristics and evolution of springs to gain further knowledge on the differences between hot saline springs and cold fresh springs. In a short river segment near Wenquanzhen in the eastern Sichuan Basin, southwest China, several natural springs coexist with total dissolved solids (TDS) ranging from less than 1 to 15 g/L and temperatures from 15 to 40 °C. The springs emanate from the outcropping Lower and Middle Triassic carbonates in the river valley cutting the core of an anticline. The cold springs are of Cl·HCO3-Na·Ca and Cl·SO4-Na types, and the hot saline springs are mainly of Cl-Na type. The chemistry of the springs has undergone some changes with time. The stable hydrogen and oxygen isotopes indicate that the spring waters are of a meteoric origin. The salinity of the springs originates from dissolution of minerals, including halite, gypsum, calcite and dolomite. The evolution of the springs involves the following mechanisms: the groundwater receives recharge from infiltration of precipitation, then undergoes deep circulation in the core of the anticline (incongruent dissolution of the salt-bearing strata occurs), and emerges in the river valley in the form of hot springs with high TDS. Groundwater also undergoes shallow circulation in the northern and southern flanks of the anticline and appears in the river valley in the form of cold springs with low TDS.
Hydrogeology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 4, 2017
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