Sources of ground water salinity on islands using O-18, H-2, and S-34

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Authors: Allen, DM
Year: 2004
Journal: Ground Water 42: 17-31   Article Link (DOI)  PubMed
Title: Sources of ground water salinity on islands using O-18, H-2, and S-34
Abstract: Stable isotopes of O-18 and H-2 in water, and S-34 and O-18 in dissolved SO4, are used to verify the interpretation of the chemical evolution and proposed sources of salinity for two islands that have undergone postglacial rebound. Results for delta(18)O and delta(34)S in dissolved SO4 on the Gulf Islands, southwest British Columbia, Canada, suggest a three-component mixing between (1) atmospheric SO4 derived largely from recharge of meteoric origin, (2) modern marine SO4 associated with either modern-day salt water intrusion or Pleistocene age sea water, and (3) terrestrial SO4. The age of the marine SO4 is uncertain based on the geochemistry and SO4 isotopes alone. Two options for mixing of saline ground waters are proposed-either between current-day marine SO4 and atmospheric SO4, or between older (Pleistocene age) marine SO4 and atmospheric SO4. delta(18)O and delta(2)H compositions are relatively consistent between both islands, with a few samples showing evidence of mixing with water that is a hybrid mixture of Fraser River water and ocean water. The isotopic composition of this hybrid water is similar todelta(18)O = 10 parts per thousand. delta(18)O and delta(2)H values for many saline ground waters plot close to the global meteoric water line, which is distinctly different from the local meteoric water line. This suggests a meteoric origin for ground waters that is different from the current isotopic composition of meteoric waters. It is proposed these waters may be late Pleistocene in age and were recharged when the island was submerged below sea level and prior to rebound at the end of the last glaciation.
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