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Hydrology 2017, 4(4), 56; doi:10.3390/hydrology4040056

Geochemical Tracing of Potential Hydraulic Connections between Groundwater and Run-Off Water in Northeastern Kansas, USA

1
Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre, Université de Strasbourg (UdS-CNRS), 1 Rue Blessig, 67084 Strasbourg, France
2
Equipe Associée 7352 CHROME, Université de Nîmes, Rue du Dr. Georges Salan, 30021 Nimes, France
3
Department of Geology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
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Abstract

This study is focused on establishing the extent of potential hydraulic connections of local lowland aquifers with the run-off waters of a nearby creek and two major rivers in and around Fort Riley in northeastern Kansas, USA. It is based on collective evidence by combining the contents of several major and trace elements of the waters with their oxygen, hydrogen and Sr isotopic compositions. The area of investigation is located a few miles to the west of the Kansas Konza Prairie, which is a United States designated site for regular monitoring of ecological and environmental configurations. The δ18O and δD of the run-off waters from the two rivers and the creek, and of the ground waters from local aquifers are almost identical. Relative to the General Meteoric Water Line, the δ18O-δD data have a tendency to deviate towards relatively lower δ18O values, as do generally the sub-surface waters of intra-continental basins. The observed stable isotope compositions for these waters preclude any significant impact by either an evapo-transpiration process by the vegetation, or an interaction with immediate mineral-rock matrices. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the aquifer waters collected from wells close to the Kansas River were markedly different from those of the river waters, confirming a lack of hydraulic interactions between the aquifers and the river. On the contrary, ground waters from wells at a relative distance from the Kansas River have 87Sr/86Sr ratios, Sr contents and Sr/Ca ratios that are similar to those of the river water, suggesting a hydraulic connection between these aquifers and the river, as well as a lack of any impact of the vegetation. An underground water supply from nearby Summer Hill located to the north of the study area has also been detected, except for its western border where no interactions occurred apparently between the aquifer waters and the reservoir rocks, or with the creek and river waters. The 87Sr/86Sr signatures of the ground waters suggest also a major east-west flow system in the study area that can be divided into three entities, together with a supplementary north-south trend along the Threemile creek towards the Kansas River. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical hydrology; sub-surface aquifers; elemental chemistry; oxygen, hydrogen, strontium isotope tracing; northeastern Kansas USA chemical hydrology; sub-surface aquifers; elemental chemistry; oxygen, hydrogen, strontium isotope tracing; northeastern Kansas USA
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Clauer, N.; Techer, I.; Chaudhuri, S. Geochemical Tracing of Potential Hydraulic Connections between Groundwater and Run-Off Water in Northeastern Kansas, USA. Hydrology 2017, 4, 56.

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