Hydrogeochemical characterization of an evaporite karst area affected by sinkholes (Ebro Valley, NE Spain)
Keywords:Salt karst. Alluvial aquifer. Geochemical modeling. Hydrochemistry.
The main processes controlling the hydrochemistry of an alluvium-covered evaporite karst area with high sinkhole risk (Ebro Valley, NE Spain) are examined by means of multivariate analyses (Principal Component Analysis and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis), ion correlations and geochemical speciation-solubility calculations. The hydrogeochemistry of the studied system seems to be governed by the interaction between the groundwater from the salt-bearing evaporitic karst aquifer and from the overlying Ebro River alluvial aquifer. The observed hydrochemical features in the alluvial-karst aquifer system are mainly determined by the relative contribution of gypsum/anhydrite and halite dissolution, showing a wide spectrum from relatively fresh recharge waters (mainly irrigation waters) to highly evolved groundwater from the evaporitic aquifer. The variability of these contributions is especially evident at sinkhole ponds which, in some cases, seem to be associated with discharge areas of the karst aquifer in the valley bottom alluvium. Calculated saturation indexes suggest that, in contrast to gypsum, the amounts of halite in the sampled portions of evaporitic aquifer are not large enough to attain equilibrium, which is consistent with the predominance of gypsum/anhydrite reported for these materials. Furthermore, the observed Na:Cl and Ca:SO4 correlations and stoichiometries suggest that other possible processes, such as glauberite dissolution or Na/Ca-exchange, generally play a minor role (compared to halite and gypsum dissolution) in this system. Another important process in the system is the dissolution of carbonate minerals (dolomite and, possibly, calcite) fostered by the input of CO2(g), which is probably produced by pedogenic processes. Dolomite dissolution seems to be particularly relevant in the evaporitic materials probably due to dedolomitisation triggered by gypsum/anhydrite dissolution.
Copyright (c) 2023 F. GUTIÉRREZ, J.P. GALVE, L.F. AUQUÉ, D. CARBONEL, M.J. GIMENO, J.B. GÓMEZ, M.P. ASTA, Y. YECHIELI
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Geologica Acta is the property of the UB, GEO3BCN, IDAEA and UAB. Geologica Acta must be cited for any partial or full reproduction. Papers are distributed under the Attribution-Share Alike Creative Commons License. This license allows anyone to reproduce and disseminate the content of the journal and even make derivative works crediting authorship and provenance and distributing possible derivative works under the same or an equivalent license.
Authors retain the copyright on their papers and are authorized to post them on their own web pages or institutional repositories. The copyright was retained by the journal from the year 2003 until 2009. In all cases, the complete citation and a link to the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the article must be included.
The authors can use excerpts or reproduce illustrations of their papers in other works without prior permission from Geologica Acta provided the source of the paper including the complete citation is fully acknowledged.