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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 37–46 | Cite as

Geochemistry analysis and evolution of a bolson aquifer, basin and range province in the southwestern united states

  • Jon C. AtkinsonEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

This paper expands significantly on the major-ion geochemical characterization, evolution, and differentiation of groundwater in the Presidio-Redford Bolson (PRB) Aquifer of Texas as presented in Chowdhury et al. (2008). For 19 groundwater samples from the PRB Aquifer, the author calculated major cation–anion balance errors, equilibrium carbon dioxide partial pressure values and saturation indices for selected minerals. Comparison of major-ion analyses for groundwater from basin margin wells with those for basin center wells is documented and illustrated with ion-concentration maps and Piper and Stiff diagrams and reveals significant increases in concentrations of chloride, sulfate and sodium coupled with notable decrease of calcium in bolson-center well samples. These geochemical changes suggest dissolution of aquifer minerals and cation exchange as groundwater migrates downgradient to the bolson center. The US Geological Survey (USGS) computer code, NETPATH, was used to interpret probable net geochemical mass-balance reactions that potentially have occurred within the PRB Aquifer along groundwater flowpaths from bolson margin to bolson center. For all four upgradient–downgradient well pairs studied, at least three NETPATH models contain cation exchange values; calcium is being exchanged for sodium. The Rio Grande Alluvium Aquifer and Rio Grande River are notably minor sources of recharge to the PRB Aquifer, based on Chowdhury et al. (2008) and geochemical evaluations of this study.

Keywords

Aqueous geochemistry Geochemistry and trace elements Hydrogeology Surface water Rio grande river Texas USA 

Notes

Acknowledgments

My appreciation and thanks are extended to two Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment colleagues, Sharon Shaw and Mark Sembera, for their assistance in crafting the figures. I greatly appreciate the detailed and constructive comments of the reviewers and editors that together have led to a notably improved paper.

Supplementary material

12665_2010_814_MOESM1_ESM.doc (222 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 222 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydrologist with US Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment, Restoration Branch (AFCEE/TDV)Lackland AFBUSA

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