Dating groundwater in the surrounding of Sakatti exploration target area in order to understand groundwater recharge and water interactions

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Title: Dating groundwater in the surrounding of Sakatti exploration target area in order to understand groundwater recharge and water interactions
Author: Koskimaa, Kuutti
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Helsingfors universitet, Matematisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Geologian ja geofysiikan maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Geology and Geophysics
Magisterprogrammet i geologi och geofysik
Specialisation: Hydrogeologia ja ympäristögeologia
Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology
Hydrogeologi och miljögeologi
Discipline: none
Abstract: AA Sakatti Mining Oy is researching the possibility of conducting mining operations in Sakatti ore deposit, located partially under the protected Viiankiaapa mire. In order to understand the waters in mining development site, the interactions of surface waters, shallow aquifers, and deep bedrock groundwaters must be understood. To estimate these interactions, hydrogeochemical characterization, together with four tracer methods were used: Tritium/helium, dichlorodifluoromethane and sulfur hexafluoride, stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen, and carbon-14. Most of the shallow groundwater samples are similar to the natural precipitation and groundwater in their chemical composition, being of Calcium bicarbonate type. B-11-17HYD013 was an exception, containing much more Cl and SO4. The samples from the deep 17MOS8193 all show a very typical composition for this type of a borehole, on the line between the saline Sodium sulphate and Sodium chloride water types. The samples from the 12MOS8102, as well as the river water samples and the Rytikuru spring sample are located between these two end members. The hydrogen and oxygen isotope values divided the samples into two distinct groups: those that show evaporation signal in the source water, and those that do not. The most likely source for the evaporated signal in the groundwaters is in the surface water pools in the Viiankiaapa mire, which have then infiltrated into the groundwater and followed the known groundwater flow gradient into the observation wells near the River Kitinen. Tritium showed no inclusion of recently recharged water in the deep 17MOS8193, and dated most of the shallow wells with screen below bedrock surface to be recharged in the 70’s and 80’s. B-10-17HYD017 had an older apparent age from 1955, and B-14-17HYD006 was curiously dated to be recharged in 2018. 14C gave apparent age of over 30 000 a for the deep 17MOS8193. The slight contents of 14C could be caused by slight contamination during sampling meaning the age is a minimum. The sample M-4-12MOS8102 got an apparent age of ~3 500 a, which could in turn be an overestimate due to ancient carbon being dissolved from the local bedrock fractures. CFC-12 showed apparent recharge dates from 1963 to 1975 in the shallow wells, and no recently recharged water in the deep 17MOS8193, and so was generally in line with the 14C and Tritium results, although some contamination had happened. SF6 concentrations exceeded possible concentrations considering other results, most likely due to underground generation, and the method was dismissed. By trace element composition, all samples from the deep 17MOS8139 are distinct from other samples and saw slight dilution in concentrations of most elements in the span of the test pumping. Other samples are more mixed and difficult to interpret, but some trends and connections are visible, such as the higher contents in wells with screens below the bedrock surface than those with screens above the bedrock surface, and the exceptionally high contents of many elements in B-13-17HYD004. Overall, the study did benefit from the large array of methods, showing no interaction between the deep bedrock groundwaters and shallow groundwaters or surface waters. The evaporated signal from the Viiankiaapa was clearly visible in the samples close to the River Kitinen.
Subject: Hydrogeology
groundwater dating

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