Title

Mineral weathering and groundwater flow in Spring Mountains Springs

Poster Number

12B

Lead Author Major

Geology

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Laura Rademacher

Faculty Mentor Email

lrademacher@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Geological & Environmental Science

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Marty Frisbee

Additional Faculty Mentor Email

mdfrisbee@purdue.edu

Additional Faculty Mentor Department

Earth Atmospheric Planetary, Purdue University

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Brian Hedlund

Additional Faculty Mentor Email

brian.hedlund@unlv.edu

Additional Faculty Mentor Department

School of Life Sciences, UNLV

Graduate Student Mentor Name

Zachary Meyers

Graduate Student Mentor Email

meyersz@purdue.edu

Graduate Student Mentor Department

Earth Atmospheric Planetary, Purdue University

Additional Mentors

Carolyn Box, Earth Atmospheric Planetary, Purdue University, boxc@purdue.edu

Ariel Friel, School of Life Sciences, UNLV, friel@unlv.nevada.edu

Don Sada, Desert Research Institute, don.sada@dri.edu,

Khaled Pordel, Desert Research Institute, khaled.prd90@gmail.com

Abstract/Artist Statement

The groundwater flow system in the Spring Mountains, NV is poorly understood because of a disconnect between structural and topographic contours. We coupled field measurements of groundwater spring temperature and conductivity with water stable isotopes to better understand groundwater circulation patterns. In addition, we paired strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) with groundwater geochemistry to identify sources of solutes and to better understand groundwater flow paths through the Spring Mountains.

The Spring Mountains geology and groundwater flow system are controlled by a series of large scale thrust faults that separate three distinct rock types: pervasive Permian dolomites, Mesozoic sandstones, and Cambrian shales. Geochemical models we developed suggest that groundwater can be separated into three categories, distinguished by the dominant geology. Modeling results highlight the influence of distinct mineral groups: carbonates, silicates, and evaporites, which help to inform local variation. Furthermore, published strontium isotope ratios of rocks and minerals vary throughout the study area and provide insight into potential groundwater flow paths through measured values of groundwater spring strontium ratios. We are expanding this analysis through the collection of additional rock specimens for strontium isotope measurements, which will further constrain the relationship between rock and spring water geochemistry and provide insight into groundwater flow paths and mineral weathering sources. Study results will help differentiate local and regional flow systems and further understanding of groundwater resilience in the Spring Mountains.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

28-4-2018 1:00 PM

End Date

28-4-2018 3:00 PM

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Apr 28th, 1:00 PM Apr 28th, 3:00 PM

Mineral weathering and groundwater flow in Spring Mountains Springs

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

The groundwater flow system in the Spring Mountains, NV is poorly understood because of a disconnect between structural and topographic contours. We coupled field measurements of groundwater spring temperature and conductivity with water stable isotopes to better understand groundwater circulation patterns. In addition, we paired strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) with groundwater geochemistry to identify sources of solutes and to better understand groundwater flow paths through the Spring Mountains.

The Spring Mountains geology and groundwater flow system are controlled by a series of large scale thrust faults that separate three distinct rock types: pervasive Permian dolomites, Mesozoic sandstones, and Cambrian shales. Geochemical models we developed suggest that groundwater can be separated into three categories, distinguished by the dominant geology. Modeling results highlight the influence of distinct mineral groups: carbonates, silicates, and evaporites, which help to inform local variation. Furthermore, published strontium isotope ratios of rocks and minerals vary throughout the study area and provide insight into potential groundwater flow paths through measured values of groundwater spring strontium ratios. We are expanding this analysis through the collection of additional rock specimens for strontium isotope measurements, which will further constrain the relationship between rock and spring water geochemistry and provide insight into groundwater flow paths and mineral weathering sources. Study results will help differentiate local and regional flow systems and further understanding of groundwater resilience in the Spring Mountains.