Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Dr. Ron Stoessell

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Kulp

Third Advisor

Dr. Ioannis Georgiou


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.


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