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Geochemistry of halogens in the Milk River aquifer, Alberta, Canada

January 1, 1991

Analytical data are presented for Cl, Br and I on a regional scale for the Milk River aquifer. The three halides show strikingly similar spatial distributions and are highly correlated. Concentrations are low in the freshwater portions of the aquifer but increase by as much as two orders of magnitude along the margins. However, halide ratios reach nearly constant values moving down-gradient, suggesting the dominance of a common subsurface source for these ions. Ratios of Cl/I and Cl/Br are less than those of seawater and fit an origin derived from the diagenesis of organic matter in the sediments. Halide ratios rule out leakage and/or diffusion from the underlying Colorado Group as a major influence on the chemistry; the favored hypothesis is altered connate seawater diffusing from low-permeability units within the Milk River Formation as the primary source of salts. This hypothesis of an internal source has important implications for solute sources in other aquifers affected by saline waters because it does not require the importation of a distant fluid.

Publication Year 1991
Title Geochemistry of halogens in the Milk River aquifer, Alberta, Canada
DOI 10.1016/0883-2927(91)90044-P
Authors J. Fabryka-Martin, Donald O. Whittemore, S.N. Davis, P.W. Kubik, Prakash Sharma
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Applied Geochemistry
Index ID 70016483
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse