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TitleThe Ambient Groundwater Geochemistry Program: pilot project in northern Ontario Precambrian aquifers
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorDell, K M; Hamilton, S M
SourceRegional-scale groundwater geoscience in southern Ontario: an Ontario Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, and Conservation Ontario geoscientists open house; by Russell, H A JORCID logo; Ford, D; Priebe, E H; Holysh, S; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8363, 2018 p. 14, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
MeetingRegional-Scale Groundwater Geoscience in Southern Ontario: Open House; Guelph; CA; February 28 - March 1, 2018
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Regional-scale groundwater geoscience in southern Ontario: an Ontario Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, and Conservation Ontario geoscientists open house
File formatpdf
NTS41G/09; 41G/13; 41G/14; 41G/15; 41G/16; 41H/10; 41H/11; 41H/12; 41H/13; 41H/14; 41H/15; 41I/02; 41I/03; 41I/04; 41I/05; 41I/06; 41I/07; 41I/10; 41I/11; 41I/12; 41I/13; 41I/14; 41I/15; 41J; 41K/01; 41K/08; 41K/09; 41K/16
AreaSudbury; Lake Huron; Manitoulin Island
Lat/Long WENS -84.5000 -80.5000 47.0000 45.5000
Subjectshydrogeology; geochemistry; regional geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; groundwater; groundwater resources; groundwater geochemistry; aquifers; host rocks; bedrock geology; lithology; radioactivity; radon; well samples; water quality; uranium geochemistry; cadmium geochemistry; calcium geochemistry; potassium geochemistry; cobalt geochemistry; lead geochemistry; copper geochemistry; arsenic geochemistry; sediments; clays; alkalinity; sodium chloride; chlorine geochemistry; bromine geochemistry; chloride content; groundwater pollution; pollutants; formation water; Canadian Shield; Grenville Province; Grenville Front; Huronian Supergroup; Sudbury Basin; Sudbury Igneous Complex; Precambrian
ProgramGroundwater Geoscience Aquifer Assessment & support to mapping
Released2018 02 16
AbstractThe first implementation of the Ambient Groundwater Geochemistry Program (AGGP) in northern Ontario was completed in 2016 in the Sudbury area. The Sudbury program was designed to test if the AGGP could be successful in delineating the effect, on groundwater chemistry, of host rock lithology in northern Precambrian shield aquifers as has been already demonstrated for Paleozoic aquifers of southern Ontario. A second objective of this project was to test the potential for the routine sampling of radiological and radiochemical parameters, including radon and gross alpha-particle and gross beta-particle activity concentrations. Since 2016, the focus of the project has been analyzing the data from the Sudbury area survey and completing a 2017 follow-up project along the north shore of Lake Huron, including Manitoulin Island. In total, 93 overburden and 246 bedrock wells were sampled. This poster illustrates the regional trends and groundwater characteristics observed in the AGGP northern Ontario data thus far.
In general, the data indicate fewer water quality related exceedences in the Sudbury area than were observed in southern Ontario. However, a few elements increase in concentration in the Precambrian aquifers of the Sudbury area such as U and Cd. Regional variation in groundwater chemistry was observed and may be controlled by the Precambrian geologic provinces. Bedrock well data from the Grenville Province indicate higher Ca, K and U concentrations than samples north of the Grenville Front. Samples from rocks of the Huronian Supergroup and the Sudbury Basin show relatively high Co, As, Pb and Cu concentrations compared to the Grenville Province. Radioactivity parameters appear to be controlled by the presence of clay rich overburden units rather than bedrock geology.
The samples taken from wells that penetrate clay overburden are more alkaline because these older, deeper waters are disconnected from lower pH surface waters. Groundwater samples indicating a road salt NaCl source, as indicated by Cl-Br ratios, have the highest average dissolved oxygen percentage and total coliform relative frequency suggesting interaction with the surface. Some high chloride waters were noted on Manitoulin Island related to connate water in Paleozoic rocks. Future work on Precambrian aquifers will seek to determine if regional geochemical signatures are controlled by lithology, traces of deep formational waters, anthropogenic influences, or smaller scale regional geologic features such as the Sudbury Igneous Complex and associated mineralization.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Proceedings for a workshop in Guelph Ontario as part of the program S&T exchange. Abstracts have been contributed by Ontario Geological Survey, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Conservation Authorities, Universities, private sector, and Unites States Geological Survey.

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