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Drake, John Franklin1, Nathan A. Randolph1
(1) Vista Environmental Services, Canyon, TX

ABSTRACT: Salinity Source Determination Utilizing Salinity Diagrams and Chemical Analyses Data from the Central Texas Panhandle

Vista Environmental Services is involved in a site assessment of certain properties located in the Texas Panhandle (West Panhandle Field) Hutchinson County, Texas. This investigation has focused on the efficient delineation of certain released petroleum compounds and inorganic salts related to produced waters in both the surface soils on site as well as groundwater. Also impacted by these releases have been surface waters and groundwater emerging at the surface from springs and seeps. In all, 92+ acres of soil on the 1500 acre ranch have been impacted and at least 9,265 acre-feet of groundwater is threatened by these aforementioned releases. Soil samples collected in spill areas and in “background” locations have been used to delineate recent spill sites. In addition to the soil samples, over 120 water samples have been collected and analyzed near the site of known releases.
Water samples collected from monitor wells, springs, stock ponds, probe holes, and flowing surface waters have been compared utilizing salinity diagrams discussed by R. Nativ in Bureau of Economic Geology Report No. 177. Based on the aforementioned comparisons, as well as groundwater modeling of chloride and sodium concentrations, areas of impacted vs. non-impacted groundwater were determined. Results from this investigation demonstrate that “fingerprint” type salinity diagrams utilizing Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate, and Bi-Carbonate are useful in determining the origin and/or mixing of those components in impacted water.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.