The Hydrogeochemistry of the Karst Aquifer System of the Northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
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Based on groundwater geochemistry, stratigraphy, and surficial and tectonic characteristics, the northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, a possible analog for ancient carbonate platforms, is divided into six hydrogeochemical/physiographic regions: (1) Chicxulub Sedimentary Basin, a Tertiary basin within the Chicxulub impact crater; (2) Cenote Ring, a semicircular region of sinkholes; (3) Pockmarked Terrain, a region of mature karst; (4) Ticul fault zone; (5) Holbox Fracture Zone-Xel-Ha Zone; and (6) Evaporite Region. Regional characteristics result from tectonics, rock type, and patterns of sedimentation, erosion, and rainfall. The Cenote Ring, characterized by high groundwater flow, outlines the Chicxulub Basin. Most groundwater approaches saturation in calcite and dolomite but is undersaturated in gypsum. Important groundwater parameters are: SO4/Cl ratios related to seawater mixing and sulfate dissolution; Sr correlation with SO4 and saturation of Lake Chichancanab water with celestite, indicating celestite as a major source of Sr; high Sr in deep water of cenotes, indicating deep circulation and contact of groundwater with evaporite; and correlation of Ca, Mg, and SO4, probably related to gypsum dissolution and dedolomitization. Based on geochemistry we propose: (1) a fault between Lake Chichancanab and Cenote Azul; (2) deep seaward movement of groundwater near Cenote Azul; and (3) contribution of evaporite dissolution to karst development in the Pockmarked Terrain. Chemical erosion by mixing-zone dissolution is important in formation of Estuario Celestun and other estuaries, but is perhaps inhibited at Lake Bacalar where groundwater dissolves gypsum, is high in Ca, low in CO3, and does not become undersaturated in calcite when mixed with seawater.
Geochemistry, Stratigraphy, Surficial And Tectonic Characteristics, The Northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, Carbonate Platforms, Hydrogeochemical/Physiographic Regions
International Geology Review, Vol. 44, no. 3 (2010-07-14).
Perry, Eugene; Velazquez-Oliman, Guadalupe; and Marin, Luis, "The Hydrogeochemistry of the Karst Aquifer System of the Northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico" (2010). KIP Articles. 2402.