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Isotope and major-ion chemistry of groundwater in Bear Lake valley, Utah and Idaho, with emphasis on the Bear River Range

Jordon Bright
Isotope and major-ion chemistry of groundwater in Bear Lake valley, Utah and Idaho, with emphasis on the Bear River Range (in Paleoenvironments of Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho, and its catchment, Joseph G. Rosenbaum (editor) and Darrell S. Kaufman (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2009) 450: 105-132

Abstract

Major-ion chemistry, strontium isotope ratios ( (super 87) Sr/ (super 86) Sr), stable isotope ratios (delta (super 18) O, delta (super 2) H), and tritium were analyzed for water samples from the southern Bear Lake Valley, Utah and Idaho, to characterize the types and distribution of groundwater sources and their relation to Bear Lake's pre-diversion chemistry. Four ground-water types were identified: (1) Ca-Mg-HCO (sub 3) water with (super 87) Sr/ (super 86) Sr values of -0.71050 and modern tritium concentrations was found in the mountainous carbonate terrain of the Bear River Range. Magnesium (Mg) and bicarbonate (HCO (sub 3) ) concentrations at Swan Creek Spring are discharge dependent and result from differential carbonate bedrock dissolution within the Bear River Range. (2) Cl-rich groundwater with elevated barium and strontium concentrations and (super 87) Sr/ (super 86) Sr values between 0.71021 and 0.71322 was found in the southwestern part of the valley. This groundwater discharges at several small, fault-controlled springs along the margin of the lake and contains solutes derived from the Wasatch Formation. (3) SO (sub 4) -rich groundwater with (super 87) Sr/ (super 86) Sr values of approximately 0.70865, and lacking detectable tritium, discharges from two springs in the northeast quadrant of the study area and along the East Bear Lake fault. (4) Ca-Mg-HCO (sub 3) -SO (sub 4) -Cl water with (super 87) Sr/ (super 86) Sr values of approximately 0.71060 and submodern tritium concentrations discharges from several small springs emanating from the Wasatch Formation on the Bear Lake Plateau. The delta (super 18) O and delta (super 2) H values from springs and streams discharging in the Bear River Range fall along the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL), but are more negative at the southern end of the valley and at lower elevations. The delta (super 18) O and delta (super 2) H values from springs discharging on the Bear Lake Plateau plot on an evaporation line slightly below the GMWL. Stable isotope data suggest that precipitation falling in Bear Lake Valley is affected by orographic effects as storms pass over the Bear River Range, and by evaporation prior to recharging the Bear Lake Plateau aquifers. Approximately 99% of the solutes constituting Bear Lake's pre-diversion chemistry were derived from stream discharge and shallow groundwater sources located within the Bear River Range. Lake-marginal springs exposed during the recent low lake levels and springs and streams draining the Bear Lake Plateau did not contribute significantly to the pre-diversion chemistry of Bear Lake.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 450
Title: Isotope and major-ion chemistry of groundwater in Bear Lake valley, Utah and Idaho, with emphasis on the Bear River Range
Title: Paleoenvironments of Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho, and its catchment
Author(s): Bright, Jordon
Author(s): Rosenbaum, Joseph G.editor
Author(s): Kaufman, Darrell S.editor
Affiliation: Northern Arizona University, Department of Geology, Flagstaff, AZ, United States
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO, United States
Pages: 105-132
Published: 2009
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 56
Accession Number: 2010-045044
Categories: HydrochemistryHydrogeology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 10 tables, sketch maps
N41°45'00" - N42°15'00", W111°34'60" - W111°10'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Northern Arizona University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201025
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