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TitleHydrogeochemical Investigations in the Cypress Hills area, Saskatchewan
AuthorDyck, W; Campbell, R A
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 1225, 1986, 92 pages, (Open Access)
LinksCanadian Database of Geochemical Surveys, downloadable files
LinksBanque de données de levés géochimiques du Canada, fichiers téléchargeables
Documentopen file
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS72F; 72K/01; 72K/02
AreaCypress Hills Area
Lat/Long WENS-110.0000 -108.0000 50.2500 49.0000
Subjectsstratigraphy; geochemistry; hydrogeology; groundwater geochemistry; sampling techniques; water wells; spring water geochemistry; lake water geochemistry; stream water geochemistry; sands; silts; clays; lignite; shales; quartzites; cherts; gravels; Cypress Hills Formation; Ravenscrag Formation; Eastend Formation; Bearpaw Formation; Frenchman Formation; Judith River Formation; Tertiary
Illustrationslocation maps; geological sketch maps; diagrams; statistical analyses
Released1986 02 01; 2009 03 25
AbstractIn order to assess the U potential and the hydrogeochemical character of the Cypress Hills area, Saskatchewan, a regional groundwater survey was carried out during the summer of 1976 covering 18,000 km 2 of the southwest corner of Saskatchewan. Approxima tel y 865 wells and 7 5 springs were sampled at a sample density of 1 sample per 13 km 2, where possible, and up to 30 variables were determined on each sample. In addition to the regional groundwater survey 20 lakes and three main streams in the area were also sampled. Analytical results show that a great contrast exists between the geochemistry of natural and man-made lakes. Natural lakes, essentially salt pans, are highly concentrated in dissolved salts, whereas the man-made · lakes (i.e., dammed-up streams) exhibit element contents similar to that of the streams. Detailed seasonal studies of a section of the Frenchman River near Eastend revealed several Rn and U rich groundwater sources which were not visible in the stream sediment patterns. Numerous field observations, sampling and analytical error, and precision tests indicate that the methodology employed needs simplification and improvement. In particular, procedures are required which minimize sample contamination, errors in. sample data coding and recording, and analytical errors, particularly in the misreading of instrumental analog displays. The mass production of high quality data requires more foolproof procedures than those adequate for small batches of samples. The results from the well survey clearly reveal that regional topographic and hydrological features have a strong effect on the distribution of the dissolved salts. Waters from the more highly elevated areas (the Cypress Hills), where rainfall is more abundant, contained significantly lower concentrations of dissolved salts and trace elements than did the water from the lower flatter regions to the south and north of the hills. This dominant trend in the element patterns is believed to be due in part to the mechanism of evapotransportation. The distribution of U followed this same regional pattern, however, elevated Rn levels are confined primarily to the Cypress Hills, viz., the radioactive conglomerates of the Cypress Hills Formation, and the underlying radioactive lignites. Coincident He and CH1t anomaly patterns, with weaker but similar F, Na, Cl, and depth patterns, are believed to be structurally controlled and give an indication of the brine- and natural oil and gas pools at depth in the region. Anomalous As and Se concentrations in the well waters, with individual concentrations markedly in excess of the maximum acceptable levels of 50 ppb and 10 ppb respectively, may pose a health problem for humans and livestock in the area.