Advertisement

Environmental Geology

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 320–335 | Cite as

Utilising seasonal variations in hydrogeochemistry and excitation-emission fluorescence to develop a conceptual groundwater flow model with implications for subsidence hazards: an example from Co. Durham, UK

  • J. Lamont-Black
  • A. Baker
  • P. L. Younger
  • A. H. Cooper
Original Article

Abstract

Groundwaters were sampled from four research boreholes, a private supply well and a natural karst resurgence in southern County Durham, England. Time series data sets of piezometric levels, groundwater major ions, and fluorescence of dissolved organic matter (DOM) were interpreted in the light of new geological mapping to assess the movement of groundwater and its potential for the dissolution of gypsum. Three distinct groundwater facies were identified representing contact with gypsiferous strata, dolomitic limestone and Quaternary Till. Piezometric data indicated time varying transverse flow across the gypsifeorus strata, which was confirmed from gradational mixing of groundwater types and cation ratios. Fluorescence of dissolved DOM identified variations in protein and fulvic-like acid fluorescence. The former was taken to represent surface derived, short-lived material. Spatial and temporal variations in protein fluorescence offered a means to trace groundwater movement along the regional groundwater gradient and indicated rapid lateral movement of groundwater. It was concluded that gypsum dissolution is occurring beneath the town of Darlington, however, the presence of a thick deposit of Quaternary till effectively confines the small head differences of approximately 1 m, across the gypsum strata beneath the town. Further to the south, the lowering of the ground surface results in a greater upwards flow of water across the gypsum and is used to explain the presence of historic collapse sinkholes.

Keywords

Groundwater tracing Subsidence Fluorescence DOM Gypsum Karst County Durham England 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Darlington Borough Council and Northumbria Water Limited are thanked for their support to the research in terms of the provision of boreholes and water quality analyses. The authors acknowledge the contribution made towards this work by the ROSES (Risk of Subsidence due to Evaporite Solution) Project: ENV4-CT97-0603 and IC20-CT97-0042 funded by the EU Framework IV Programme.

References

  1. Baker A (2001) Fluorescence excitation-emission matrix characterisation of some sewage-impacted rivers. Environ Sci Technol 35(15):948–953CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker A, Lamont-Black J (2001) Fluorescence of dissolved organic matter as a natural tracer of groundwater. Groundwater 39(3):745–750Google Scholar
  3. Bischoff JL, Julia R, Shanks WC (1994) Karstification without carbonic-acid–bedrock dissolution by gypsum-driven dedolomitization. Geology 22(11):995–998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. British Geological Survey (1987) 1:50,000 Solid and drift geology of England and Wales, Sheet 33, Stockton. Ordinance Survey, SouthamptonGoogle Scholar
  5. Cariney T, Hamill L (1977) Interconnection of surface and underground water resources in south east Durham. J Hydrol 33:73–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cooper AH (1986) Foundered strata and subsidence resulting from the dissolution of Permian gypsum in the Ripon and Bedale areas, North Yorkshire. In: Harwood GM, Smith DB (eds) The English Zechstein and related topics. Geological Society of London, Special Publication. No. 22:127–139Google Scholar
  7. Emblanche C, Blavoux J, Puig M (1998) Dissolved organic carbon infiltration within the autogenic karst hysrosystem. Geophys Res Lett 25(9):1459–1462Google Scholar
  8. Klimchouk AB (1996) The typolology of gypsum karst according to its geological and geomorphological evolution. Int J Speleol 25(3–4):49–60Google Scholar
  9. Martinez JD, Johnson KS, Neal JT (1998) Sinkholes in evaporite rocks. Am Scientist 86:39–52Google Scholar
  10. Smith DB (1967) Geology of the country between Durham and West Hartlepool. Institute of Geological Sciences, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Thompson A, Hine P, Peach DW, Frost L, Brook D (1996) Subsidence planning assessment as a basis for planning guidance in Ripon. In: Maund JG, Eddleston M (eds) Geohazards in engineering geology. Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publications 15:415–426Google Scholar
  12. Tipping E, Marker AFH, Butterwick C, Collett GD, Cranwell PA, Ingram JKG, Leach DV, Lishman JP, Pinder AC, Rigg E, Simon BM (1997) Dissolved organic carbon in the River Humber. Sci Total Environ 194:345–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Younger PL (1995) Hydrogeology. In: Johnson GAL (ed) Robson’s Geology of North East England, 2nd Edition. Transactions of the Natural History Society of Northumbria, pp 353–358Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Lamont-Black
    • 1
  • A. Baker
    • 2
  • P. L. Younger
    • 3
  • A. H. Cooper
    • 4
  1. 1.ELECTROKINETIC LtdNanotechnology CentreNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.School of Geography, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of BirminghamUK
  3. 3.HERO, IRES(Institute of Research on Environmental Sustainability)University of Newcastle Newcastle upon TyneUK
  4. 4.British Geological SurveyNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations