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Effects of tectonic structures, salt solution mining, and density-driven groundwater hydraulics on evaporite dissolution (Switzerland)

Zechner, E. and Konz, M. and Younes, A. and Huggenberger, P.. (2011) Effects of tectonic structures, salt solution mining, and density-driven groundwater hydraulics on evaporite dissolution (Switzerland). Hydrogeology Journal, 19 (7). pp. 1323-1334.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/46585/

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Abstract

Subsurface dissolution (subrosion) of evaporites such as halite and gypsum can lead to extensive land subsidence. Recent land subsidences have been surveyed at six separate locations in northwestern Switzerland. The diameters of the affected surface areas range from 100 to 1,500 m, and corresponding subsidence rates reached more than 100 mm/year. Based on a geometrical model, three sites could be outlined where land subsidence can likely be attributed to salt solution mining. The effects of increased hydrostatic gradient due to both groundwater withdrawal and fluid density contrasts were evaluated in more detail for the remaining sites with a series of 2D density-coupled solute-transport simulations along an approximately 1,000-m-long and 150-m-deep 2D cross section. Simulation results indicate that the upconing process of saline groundwater into the main aquifer occurs under different distributions of subsurface parameters and hydraulic boundary conditions. For the presented setup, the simulations also revealed that the most sensitive factor for the dissolution rate is the structure or dip of the halite formation, which leads to an increase of dissolution rate with increasing dip. Due to the increased density of the brine, an intrinsic flow dynamic develops which follows the direction of the dip.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geologie-Paläontologie > Applied Geology (Huggenberger)
UniBasel Contributors:Huggenberger, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1431-2174
e-ISSN:1435-0157
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:30 Nov 2017 10:16
Deposited On:30 Nov 2017 10:16

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