Seasonal fluctuations in the chemistry of lime-stone springs: A possible means for characterizing carbonate aquifers


Material Information

Seasonal fluctuations in the chemistry of lime-stone springs: A possible means for characterizing carbonate aquifers
Series Title:
Journal of Hydrology
Shuster, Evan T.
White, William B.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Seasonal Fluctuations ( local )
Chemistry Of Lime-Stone Springs ( local )
Characterizing Carbonate Aquifers ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


The dissolved carbonate species were analyzed in the waters of 14 carbonate springs in the Central Appalachians at 2-week intervals during water year 1967–1968. The springs were classified into diffuse-flow feeder-system types and conduit feeder-system types by hydrogeologic evidence. Comparison with the chemical parameters showed that the conduit springs were very variable in hardness throughout the year (coefficient of variation 10–24%) whereas the diffuse flow springs had a rather constant hardness (coefficient of variation <5%). The variation in hardness is a better index of aquifer type than is hardness itself. Diffuse flow springs were, on the average near saturation; the conduit springs were undersaturated by factors of 2 to 5. Ca/Mg ratios were near unity for springs fed by dolomites or dolomite-related rocks; Ca/Mg ratios for limestone springs were 3–8 times higher. Aquifer systems of quite different flow mechanics can exist in the same hydrogeologic environment and can be distinguished by their chemical behavior.
Original Version:
Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 14, no. 2 (2003-04-01).

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