Chemical evolution of groundwater near a sinkhole lake, northern Florida: 2. Chemical patterns, mass-transfer modeling, and rates of chemical reactions

Water Resources Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Chemical patterns along evolutionary groundwater flow paths in silicate and carbonate aquifers were interpreted using solute tracers, carbon and sulfur isotopes, and mass balance reaction modeling for a complex hydrologic system involving groundwater inflow to and outflow from a sinkhole lake in northern Florida. Rates of dominant reactions along defined flow paths were estimated from modeled mass transfer and ages obtained from CFC-modeled recharge dates. Groundwater upgradient from Lake Barco remains oxic as it moves downward, reacting with silicate minerals in a system open to carbon dioxide (CO2), producing only small increases in dissolved species. Beneath and downgradient of Lake Barco the oxic groundwater mixes with lake water leakage in a highly reducing, silicate-carbonate mineral environment. A mixing model, developed for anoxic groundwater downgradient from the lake, accounted for the observed chemical and isotopic composition by combining different proportions of lake water leakage and infiltrating meteoric water. The evolution of major ion chemistry and the 13C isotopic composition of dissolved carbon species in groundwater downgradient from the lake can be explained by the aerobic oxidation of organic matter in the lake, anaerobic microbial oxidation of organic carbon, and incongruent dissolution of smectite minerals to kaolinite. The dominant process for the generation of methane was by the CO2 reduction pathway based on the isotopic composition of hydrogen (δ2H(CH4) = −186 to −234‰) and carbon (δ13C(CH4) = −65.7 to −72.3‰). Rates of microbial metabolism of organic matter, estimated from the mass transfer reaction models, ranged from 0.0047 to 0.039 mmol L−1 yr−1 for groundwater downgradient from the lake.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Chemical evolution of groundwater near a sinkhole lake, northern Florida: 2. Chemical patterns, mass-transfer modeling, and rates of chemical reactions
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/95WR00220
Volume 31
Issue 6
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 20 p.
First page 1565
Last page 1584