Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen, together with chemical analyses, were determined for 20 surface waters, 8 shallow potable formation waters, and 79 formation waters from oil fields and gas fields. The observed isotope ratios can be explained by mixing of surface water and diagenetically modified sea water, accompanied by a process which enriches the heavy oxygen isotope. Mass balances for deuterium and total dissolved solids in the western Canada sedimentary basin demonstrate that the present distribution of deuterium in formation waters of the basin can be derived through mixing of the diagenetically modified sea water with not more than 2.9 times as much fresh water at the same latitude, and that the movement of fresh water through the basin has redistributed the dissolved solids of the modified sea water into the observed salinity variations. Statistical analysis of the isotope data indicates that although exchange of deuterium between water and hydrogen sulphide takes place within the basin, the effect is minimized because of an insignificant mass of hydrogen sulphide compared to the mass of formation water. Conversely, exchange of oxygen isotopes between water and carbonate minerals causes a major oxygen-18 enrichment of formation waters, depending on the relative masses of water and carbonate. Qualitative evidence confirms the isotopic fractionation of deuterium on passage of water through micropores in shales. ?? 1969.
Additional publication details
Geochemistry and origin of formation waters in the western Canada sedimentary basin-I. Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen