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Chemical and isotopic characteristics of brines from three oil- and gas-producing sandstones in eastern Ohio, with applications to the geochemical tracing of brine sources

January 1, 1994

Chemical and isotopic characteristics of selected inorganic constituents are reported for brines from the Berea Sandstone of Mississippian age, the Clinton sandstone, Albion Sandstone of Silurian age, and the Rose Run formation of Cambrian and Ordovician age in 24 counties in eastern Ohio. Ionic concentrations of dissolved constituents in brines from these formations generally fall in the following ranges (in millimoles per kilogram of brine): Na, Cl > 1,000; 100 < Ca, Mg < 1,000; 1 < K, Br, Sr, Li, Fe, SO4 < 100; Mn, Zn, Al, I, HCO3, SiO2 < 1. Mean ionic concentrations of Ca, Mg, Na, Cl, K, SO4 and Br, and mean values of density and dissolved solids are significantly different at the 95-percent confidence level in each formation. Only potassium has a unique concentration range in each formation. Selected concentration ratios are identified as potential indicators for geochemical tracing of brines having some history of dilution. The k:Na ratios work best for identifying the source formation of an unidentified brine. Isotopic characteristics of hydrogen and oxygen indicate a meteoric origin for the water matrix of the brines. Sulfur isotopes may have utility for differentiating brines from oxidizing ground water.