Laboratory experiments were carried out to determine the magnitude of the isotopic fractionation of distilled water and of 0.01 N NaCl forced to flow at ambient temperature under a hydraulic pressure drop of 100 bars across a montmorillonite disc compacted to a porosity of 35 per cent by a pressure of 330 bars. The ultrafiltrates in both experiments were depleted in D by 2.5%. and in O18 by 0.8%. relative to the residual solution. No additional isotopic fractionation due to a salt filtering mechanism was observed at NaCl concentrations up to 0.01 N. Adsorption is most likely the principal mechanism which produces isotopic fractionation, but molecular diffusion may play a minor role. The results suggest that oxygen and hydrogen isotopic fractionation of ground water during passage through compacted clayey sediments should be a common occurrence, in accord with published interpretations of isotopic data from the Illinois and Alberta basins. ?? 1973.
Additional publication details
Ultrafiltration by a compacted clay membrane-I. Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic fractionation