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Inferring silicate weathering rates over recent timescales (less than 100 years) in crystalline aquifers by calibrating lumped parameters models with atmospheric tracers

Abstract : Silicate minerals (e.g. feldspars, micas and olivines) are ubiquitous in crystalline rocks such as granite and schist. Groundwater dissolves some of this silica via weathering processes as it passes through the catchment, increasing silica concentration with residence time. However, quantifying weathering rates is complicated by the fact that groundwater residence time distributions (RTD) are typically unknown. Batch experiments can characterize weathering reaction type and provide estimates of dissolution rates, but weathering timescales in the field are far greater than what can be simulated in the laboratory (White and Brantley, 2003). Here we implement a novel approach coupling chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and dissolved silica concentrations to infer timescales of silica weathering processes at the watershed scale. We investigated 6 crystalline aquifers in Brittany with contrasting lithology. We quantified silicate weathering at the watershed scale based on individual measurements from multiple wells, assuming first-order reaction kinetics. For each well, we used a lumped parameter model to determined RTD with inverse gaussian distributions, which allow two degrees of freedom. Production rate and initial silicate concentration were then optimized at the watershed scale with the calibrated model. Weathering rates were relatively similar among watersheds, varying for most sites from 0.16 to 0.42 mg/L/yr (SD = 0.09 mg/L/yr), and estimates of weathering rates were not significantly influenced by single well measurements. This work demonstrates how atmospheric tracers can be used with dissolved silica concentration to inform both RTD and first order kinetics of weathering reactions. Together these results suggest that dissolved silica could be a robust and cheap groundwater age proxy for recent timescales (less than 100 years). ----------------------------------- White, Art F, and Susan L Brantley. 2003. « The effect of time on the weathering of silicate minerals: why do weathering rates differ in the laboratory and field? » Chemical Geology, Controls on Chemical Weathering, 202 (3–4): 479‑506. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2003.03.001.veral plausible earthquake scenarii in different mountain ranges (New Zealand, Taiwan, Nepal).
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-01417031
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 11:10:50 AM
Last modification on : Monday, April 29, 2019 - 2:30:48 PM

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  • HAL Id : insu-01417031, version 1

Citation

Thierry Labasque, Alexandre Gauvain, Jean Marçais, Jean-Raynald De Dreuzy, Luc Aquilina, et al.. Inferring silicate weathering rates over recent timescales (less than 100 years) in crystalline aquifers by calibrating lumped parameters models with atmospheric tracers . American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2016, Dec 2016, San Francisco, United States. pp.H21B-1396, 2016. ⟨insu-01417031⟩

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