Chloride imbalance in a catchment undergoing hydrological change: Upper Barwon River, southeast Australia

Cartwright, Ian, Gilfedder, Benjamin and Hofmann, Harald (2013) Chloride imbalance in a catchment undergoing hydrological change: Upper Barwon River, southeast Australia. Applied Geochemistry, 31 187-198. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.01.003


Author Cartwright, Ian
Gilfedder, Benjamin
Hofmann, Harald
Title Chloride imbalance in a catchment undergoing hydrological change: Upper Barwon River, southeast Australia
Journal name Applied Geochemistry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0883-2927
1872-9134
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.01.003
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 31
Start page 187
End page 198
Total pages 12
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject 2304 Environmental Chemistry
2310 Pollution
1906 Geochemistry and Petrology
Abstract Documenting whether surface water catchments are in net chemical mass balance is important to understanding hydrological systems. Catchments that export significantly greater volumes of solutes than are delivered via rainfall are not in hydrologic equilibrium and indicate a changing hydrological system. Here an assessment is made of whether a saline catchment in southeast Australia is in chemical mass balance based on Cl. The upper reaches of the Barwon River, southeast Australia, has total dissolved solids, TDS, concentrations of up to 5860mg/L and Cl concentrations of up to 3370mg/L. The high river TDS concentrations are due to the influxes of groundwater with TDS concentrations of up to 68,000mg/L. Between 1989 and 2011, the median annual Cl flux from the upper Barwon catchment was 17.8×106kg (~140kg/a/ha). This represents 340-2230% of the annual Cl input by rainfall to the catchment. Major ion and stable isotope geochemistry indicate that the dominant source of solutes in the catchment is evapotranspiration of rainfall, precluding mineral dissolution as a source of excess Cl. The upper Barwon catchment is not in chemical mass balance and is a net exporter of solutes. The chemical imbalance may reflect the transition within the last 100ka from an endorheic lake system where solutes were recycled producing shallow groundwater with high TDS concentrations to a better drained catchment. Alternatively, a rise in the regional water table following land clearing may have increased the input of groundwater with high TDS concentrations to the river system.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Earth Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 18 Aug 2014, 21:56:30 EST by Ashleigh Paroz on behalf of School of Earth Sciences