Hydrochemistry of a dolomite karst: the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario


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January 1980


Surface and subsurface waters on the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, were sampled and analysed for Ca2+, Mg2+, pH, HCO3−; partial pressure of CO2(PCO2), and saturation states with respect to calcite (SIc) and dolomite (SId) were calculated. A total of 250 samples representing six hydrochemical environments were collected. These environments are (1) Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, (2) inland lakes, (3) rivers and streams, (4) wetlands, (5) conduit-flow springs, and (6) diffuse-flow springs. The seasonal behaviour and chemical separation of these waters are examined.Except for Georgian Bay and Lake Huron the waters of the peninsula are very hard, ranging from 180–320 ppm Ca2+ plus Mg2+ (as CaCO3), and display increasing hardness as the summer season progresses. Surface recharge and conduit-flow springs are generally saturated with respect to calcite and dolomite. Only diffuse-flow springs, which are among the hardest of waters, are commonly undersaturated. These waters are also the easiest to distinguish chemically and results of a linear discriminant function analysis suggest other waters of the peninsula to be of one class.


Hydrochemistry, Dolomite Karst, The Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

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Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 17, no. 4 (1980).