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Time scales of regional circulation of saline fluids in continental aquifers (Armorican massif, Western France)

Abstract : In recent decades, saline fluids have been sampled worldwide at great depths in continental basements. Although some of them have been attributed to marine transgressions the mechanisms allowing their circulation is not understood. In this paper, we describe the horizontal and vertical distribution of moderately saline fluids (60 to 1400 mg L−1) sampled at depths ranging from 41 to 200 m in aquifers at the regional scale of the Armorican Massif (northwestern France). The horizontal and vertical distributions of high chloride concentrations are in good agreement with both the altitudinal and vertical limits and succession of the three major transgressions between the Mio-Pliocene and Pleistocene ages. The mean chloride concentration for each transgression area is exponentially related to the time spanned until present. It defines the potential laws of leaching of marine waters by fresh meteoric waters. The results of the Armorican aquifers provide the first observed constraints for the time scales of seawater circulation in the continental basement and the subsequent leaching by fresh meteoric waters. The general trend of increasing chloride concentration with depth and the time frame for the flushing process provide useful information to develop conceptual models of the paleo-functionning of Armorican aquifers.
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Antoine Armandine Les Landes, Luc Aquilina, Philippe Davy, Virginie Vergnaud, Christian Le Carlier de Veslud. Time scales of regional circulation of saline fluids in continental aquifers (Armorican massif, Western France). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, European Geosciences Union, 2014, 11 (6), pp.6599-6635. ⟨10.5194/hessd-11-6599-2014⟩. ⟨insu-01018956⟩

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