Abstract

Hydrochemical investigations were carried out in a small local basin in hummocky moraine of southern Saskatchewan. The 'basin' consisted of a hill and surrounding permanent sloughs. The constructed Teledeltos flow model shows the typical pattern of groundwater flow near permanent lakes, where the hills are areas of recharge and the sloughs areas of discharge. Based on the chemical analyses of soil and till extracts as well as on the chemical analyses of slough and groundwater, the development of certain hydrochemical patterns in hummocky moraine can be explained.Three hydrochemical zones can be distinguished: SO4–Ca–Mg in the recharge area, SO4–Mg–Ca in the transmission zone, and SO4–Mg–(Na) in the discharge area. The increase of groundwater salinity from the recharge area to the discharge area is due to evapotranspiration as well as to the poor permeability of the glacial deposits.The SO4–Mg–Ca type of water of the recharge area is already formed in the zone of aeration. The subsequent changes of groundwater chemistry in the zone of saturation are induced by the enrichment of easily soluble salts and by the steady precipitation of poorly soluble salts. The sharp increase in salinity and the significant enrichment of the SO4–Mg type of water by easily soluble salts take place in the shallow zone of the discharge area close to the surface. The study of water extracts suggests the presence of groundwater discharge in the region of the capillary fringe of the recharge area also.The delivery of ions to the sloughs takes place by groundwater flow and inter-flow; therefore, the hydrochemistry of sloughs is primarily determined by the chemistry of these waters. The further metamorphosis of slough water is produced mainly by intensive evaporation as well as by ion exchange within the slough.

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