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Title: Groundwater hydrochemistry in the active layer of the proglacial zone, Finsterwalderbreen, Svalbard
Authors: Cooper, Richard
Wadham, Jemma
Tranter, Martyn
Hodgkins, Richard
Peters, N.
Keywords: Mg–Ca-sulphate salts
Chemical weathering
Active layer
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: COOPER, R.J. ... et al, 2002. Groundwater hydrochemistry in the active layer of the proglacial zone, Finsterwalderbreen, Svalbard. Journal of Hydrology, 269, pp. 208-223
Abstract: Glacial bulk meltwaters and active-layer groundwaters were sampled from the proglacial zone of Finsterwalderbreen during a single melt season in 1999, in order to determine the geochemical processes that maintain high chemical weathering rates in the proglacial zone of this glacier. Results demonstrate that the principle means of solute acquisition is the weathering of highly reactive moraine and fluvial active-layer sediments by supra-permafrost groundwaters. Active-layer groundwater derives from the thaw of the proglacial snowpack, buried ice and glacial bulk meltwaters. Groundwater evolves by sulphide oxidation and carbonate dissolution. Evaporation- and freeze-concentration of groundwater in summer and winter, respectively produce Mg–Ca-sulphate salts on the proglacial surface. Re-dissolution of these salts in early summer produces groundwaters that are supersaturated with respect to calcite.There is a pronounced spatial pattern to the geochemical evolution of groundwater. Close to the main proglacial channel, active layer sediments are flushed diurnally by bulk meltwaters. Here, Mg–Ca-sulphate deposits become exhausted in the early season and geochemical evolution proceeds by a combination of sulphide oxidation and carbonate dissolution. At greater distances from the channel, the dissolution of Mg–Ca-sulphate salts is a major influence and dilution by the bulk meltwaters is relatively minor. The influence of sulphate salt dissolution decreases during the sampling season, as these salts are exhausted and waters become increasingly routed by subsurface flowpaths.
Description: This article is Restricted Access. It was published in the journal, Journal of Hydrology [© Elsevier] and is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00221694
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/3324
ISSN: 0022-1694
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Geography and Environment)

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