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Geochemical heterogeneity in a small, stratigraphically complex moraine aquifer system (Ontario, Canada): Interpretation of flow and recharge using multiple geochemical parameters

January 1, 2011

The Waterloo Moraine is a stratigraphically complex system and is the major water supply to the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Despite over 30 years of investigation, no attempt has been made to unify existing geochemical data into a single database. A composite view of the moraine geochemistry has been created using the available geochemical information, and a framework created for geochemical data synthesis of other similar flow systems. Regionally, fluid chemistry is highly heterogeneous, with large variations in both water type and total dissolved solids content. Locally, upper aquifer units are affected by nitrate and chloride from fertilizer and road salt. Typical upper-aquifer fluid chemistry is dominated by calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate, a result of calcite and dolomite dissolution. Evidence also suggests that ion exchange and diffusion from tills and bedrock units accounts for some elevated sodium concentrations. Locally, hydraulic "windows" cross connect upper and lower aquifer units, which are typically separated by a clay till. Lower aquifer units are also affected by dedolomitization, mixing with bedrock water, and locally, upward diffusion of solutes from the bedrock aquifers. A map of areas where aquifer units are geochemically similar was constructed to highlight areas with potential hydraulic windows. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Geochemical heterogeneity in a small, stratigraphically complex moraine aquifer system (Ontario, Canada): Interpretation of flow and recharge using multiple geochemical parameters
DOI 10.1007/s10040-010-0628-7
Authors R.L. Stotler, S.K. Frape, H.T. El Mugammar, C. Johnston, I. Judd-Henrey, F.E. Harvey, R. Drimmie, J.P. Jones
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Hydrogeology Journal
Series Number
Index ID 70034129
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization