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01-09-2015 | Original Article | Issue 5/2015

Environmental Earth Sciences 5/2015

Evidence of groundwater degassing in a deep confined aquifer: noble gas concentrations with hydrogen, oxygen and carbon isotope data

Journal:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Issue 5/2015
Authors:
Hua Wang, Xumei Mao, Liang Feng

Abstract

“Excess air” caused by the excessive dissolution of air bubbles is often observed and discussed in groundwater studies [e.g., noble gas temperature (NGT) calculations and 4He dating]. However, “gas loss” is inevitable for groundwater degassing whenever temperatures change or the groundwater head fluctuates, which can lead to a misunderstanding of the initial gas content, resulting in the false assessment of groundwater recharge temperature and age. Twenty-two groundwater samples were observed with a He and Ne excess, Kr loss, and Ar and Xe excess and loss in different samples from the third aquifer of the North China Plain. The loss of Kr and Xe in groundwater samples indicated that groundwater degassing had occurred, because the loss of Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe in sequences in groundwater is caused by a continuous degassing. A temperature increase can also cause groundwater degassing, for the recharge groundwater temperatures (δD-calculated 0.6–5.0 °C) are much lower than the NGTs (3.4–32.1 °C) in the same groundwater samples. All the groundwater were speculated to have uniformly experienced temperatures as high as 32.1 °C in the recharge zone before entering the third aquifer and resulted in groundwater degassing.

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