Reference : Identification and quantification of sources of major solutes in a sandy, phreatic aq...
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Identification and quantification of sources of major solutes in a sandy, phreatic aquifer in Central Belgium through ionic ratios and geochemical mass-balance modelling
Peeters, Luk [KUL > Department Geology-Geography > Hydrogeology, Applied geology and mineralogy > >]
Batelaan, Okke [Vrije Universiteit Brussel - VUB > Dept. of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering > > >]
Dassargues, Alain mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département Argenco : Secteur GEO3 > Hydrogéologie & Géologie de l'environnement >]
Groundwater and Ecosystems, Proc. of the XXXV IAH Congress
XXXV IAH Congress (International Association of Hydrogeologists)
[en] Groundwater ; phreatic aquifer ; sandy aquifer ; sources of major solutes ; geochemical mass-balance ; ionic ratios ; aquifer in Central Belgium ; Hydrogeochemistry ; weathering ; anthropogenic influence
[en] In this study the processes affecting groundwater chemistry in the Eocene Brussels sands aquifer in Central Belgium are identified based on evaluation of ionic ratios of major solutes. Based on these results, in combination with mineralogical and hydrogeological information of the aquifer, a geochemical mass-balance model is created to quantify the contribution of each of the processes to the observed composition of groundwater.
After a rigorous validation process, a dataset of 99 groundwater samples is obtained from observation and pumping wells in the Eocene Brussels sands aquifer, which is one of the main aquifers for drinking water production in Belgium. The aquifer consists of heterogeneous alteration of calcified and silicified coarse sands, with local presence of clay drapes and glauconite-rich zones (Laga et al. 2001). The entire aquifer is overlain by Quaternary eolian deposits, mainly consisting of loam with the exception of the north east, where the Quaternary deposits are sandy loam. The groundwater in this aquifer is of Ca-Mg-HCO3-type with locally elevated nitrate concentrations.
Based on the evaluation of ionic ratios and the mineralogy of the aquifer, a conceptual geochemical model is developed for mass-balance modeling, including (1) concentration of precipitation by a factor 1 to 5 due to evaporation, (2) dissolution of a pure calcite phase and a calcite phase containing 25 % magnesium by both carbonic acid and sulfuric acid, (3) anthropogenic inputs for all major cations and anions except bicarbonate, (4) dissolution of glauconite, (5) cation exchange of sodium and potassium for calcium and magnesium. The two calcite phases can be thought of as end-members of a solid solution of magnesium in calcite.
The mass-balance modeling consists of a mole-balance equation for each considered element according to: [Obs] = p[Prec] + p1[Phase 1] + ... + pi[Phase i] + a [Anthropogenic] +/- c[Cation Exchange] This set of linear equations is additionally constrained by (1) defining a range for concentration factors p based on measured and calculated evaporation rates, (2) charge balance for the anthropogenic sources and (3) pi being positive or negative according to whether the phase dissolves or precipitates. The set of linear equations with the given constraints is solved using a least squares optimization.
Based on the possible processes and reactions several geochemical models are tested for each sample and a model is considered adequate if the root mean squared error (RMSE) between observed and calculated concentrations is less than 10-10 mol/L and the charge balance of the calculated composition is less than 5 %. If several models are able to explain the observed concentrations, the RMSE provides an objective measure to compare the quality of the models.
The best model for each sample is selected and the spatial distribution of these models is compared to the spatial variations in lithology and land-use to asses the feasibility of the proposed models.
Aquapôle - AQUAPOLE
Researchers ; Professionals

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