The origin and isotopic composition of dissolved sulfide in groundwater from carbonate aquifers in Florida and Texas

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

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The ??34S values of dissolved sulfide and the sulfur isotope fractionations between dissolved sulfide and sulfate species in Floridan ground water generally correlate with dissolved sulfate concentrations which are related to flow patterns and residence time within the aquifer. The dissolved sulfide derives from the slow in situ biogenic reduction of sulfate dissolved from sedimentary gypsum in the aquifer. In areas where the water is oldest, the dissolved sulfide has apparently attained isotopic equilibrium with the dissolved sulfate (??34S = 65 per mil) at the temperature (28??C) of the system. This approach to equilibrium reflects an extremely slow reduction rate of the dissolved sulfate by bacteria; this slow rate probably results from very low concentrations of organic matter in the aquifer. In the reducing part of the Edwards aquifer, Texas, there is a general down-gradient increase in both dissolved sulfide and sulfate concentrations, but neither the ??34S values of sulfide nor the sulfide-sulfate isotope fractionation correlates with the ground-water flow pattern. The dissolved sulfide species appear to be derived primarily from biogenic reduction of sulfate ions whose source is gypsum dissolution although upgradient diffusion of H2S gas from deeper oil field brines may be important in places. The sulfur isotope fractionation for sulfide-sulfate (about 38 per mil) is similar to that observed for modern oceanic sediments and probably reflects moderate sulfate reduction in the reducing part of the aquifer owing to the higher temperature and significant amount of organic matter present; contributions of isotopically heavy H2S from oil field brines are also possible. ?? 1981.

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The origin and isotopic composition of dissolved sulfide in groundwater from carbonate aquifers in Florida and Texas
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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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