Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Degree Program

Geology

Department

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Dr. Ron Stoessell

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Kulp

Third Advisor

Dr. Ioannis Georgiou

Abstract

Accumulations of brackish groundwater exist across south Louisiana within the shallow, south-dipping Pleistocene to Upper Miocene Baton Rouge Aquifer System (BRAS). This research investigates the source of brackish groundwater through geochemical analysis of representative groundwater samples by comparing the following geochemical ratios along with other trace elements. Low Bromide (Br)/Chloride (Cl) and Potassium (K) /Cl ratios, high Sodium (Na) /Cl ratios, trace Magnesium (Mg) concentrations, and low Strontium (Sr) 87/Sr86 in brackish waters from the BRAS are inconsistent with in situ saline water from marine formation fluids of similar age. The ratios are consistent with in situ saline-water sources from Lower Miocene or Paleogene formation fluids from dissolved recrystallized halite. Deep formation fluids have interacted with Louann Salt diapirs underlying the BRAS area, dissolving halite, and are shown to have moved up fault planes and entered shallow aquifers to mix with the in situ groundwaters.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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