Geochemical and isotopic tracers in groundwater studies (SS-GH10)


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Geochemical and isotopic tracers in groundwater studies (SS-GH10)

Geneviève Bordeleau (Geological Survey of Canada) and Jason Ahad (Geological Survey of Canada)

Leaders and affiliations :  Geneviève Bordeleau (Geological Survey of Canada); Jason Ahad (Geological Survey of Canada); Nicholas Utting (CANMET Energy); Daniele Pinti (Université du Québec à Montréal); Ende Zuo (University of Ottawa)

Description :  Hydrogeological studies seek to assess groundwater flow, sometimes accompanied by contaminants, within a given region or area. While contaminants or other dissolved compounds are being transported in aquifers, they may undergo transformations through various physical, chemical or biological processes. Identifying and quantifying these processes in field studies is challenging, because: 1) the study areas are usually large and geochemical data is relatively scarce; 2) heterogeneous hydrogeological conditions spatially affect the occurrence and rate of processes, and; 3) the processes themselves are often poorly understood. To remediate these limitations, researchers may rely on various tracers as tools to help them better understand groundwater flow and solute transport, transformation and degradation processes.

This session invites examples of field studies where isotopic or other geochemical tracers have shed light into understanding hydrogeological systems. Emphasis will be put on studies where a combination of different tracers has provided insight into understanding key components of the system. Such components may include (but are not restricted to) groundwater age and residence time, contaminant sources and fate, and biogeochemical nutrient cycling. All scales of field studies are encouraged, from small site-specific to large regional studies.