Groundwater, surface water, and soil in the Goose Lake oil field in northeastern Montana have been affected by Cl−-rich oil-field brines during long-term petroleum production. Ongoing multidisciplinary geochemical and geophysical studies have identified the degree and local extent of interaction between brine and groundwater. Fourteen samples representing groundwater, surface water, and brine were collected for Sr isotope analyses to evaluate the usefulness of 87Sr/86Sr in detecting small amounts of brine. Differences in Sr concentrations and 87Sr/86Sr are optimal at this site for the experiment. Strontium concentrations range from 0.13 to 36.9 mg/L, and corresponding 87Sr/86Sr values range from 0.71097 to 0.70828. The local brine has 168 mg/L Sr and a 87Sr/86Sr value of 0.70802. Mixing relationships are evident in the data set and illustrate the sensitivity of Sr in detecting small amounts of brine in groundwater. The location of data points on a Sr isotope-concentration plot is readily explained by an evaporation-mixing model. The model is supported by the variation in concentrations of most of the other solutes.
Additional publication details
Strontium isotope systematics of mixing groundwater and oil-field brine at Goose Lake in northeastern Montana, USA
Colorado Water Science Center, Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center