Trace-element geochemistry of thermal water percolating through a karstic environment in the region of Saint Ghislain (Belgium)
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Journal of volcanology and geothermal research
, p. 331-348
University of Antwerp
Five geothermal waters from the Mons area (southern Belgium) have been studied: one natural hot spring at Stambruges, one stagnant warm water from the inclined tunnels at Baudour, and three thermal waters from the drillholes at St. Ghislain, Ghlin and Douvrain, originating from the carbonate/anhydrite-bearing Visean strata, at depths of ca. 2600, 1550 and 1300 m, respectively. Multielement chemical analysis of the filtered water and its suspended matter > 0.4 μm) was carried out by instrumental neutron activation. Temperature in depth, calculated using the silica (chalcedony) chemical geothermometer, ranged from 75 to 88°C, in good agreement with experimentally determined values. Na/K and Na/K/Ca geothermometers yieilded erratic results, as expected from the geological environment in the aquifer. From the analytical data it can be calculated that the thermal waters of St. Ghislain, Ghlin and Douvrain are not only saturated with respect to chalcedony, but also to anhydrite, calcite, fluorite, barite, strontianite, and possibly zinc silicate, iron (III) hydroxide or siderite, albite, microcline, gibbsite and kaolinite. They are oversaturated with respect to muscovite. Data are also presented for the other thermal waters, and a cold spring water (Claire Fontaine, Stambruges). The similar trace-element composition of the thermal waters can be explained by percolation of the water in the same distant recharge zone, from where it descends, becomes heated at depth and rises along collapse breccia, and locally (Baudour, Stambruges) along fissures. The uptake of higher amounts of Ca, Mg, Sr and sulfate in St. Ghislain and Ghlin, as compared to Douvrain and Baudour is correlated with the boundary between the non-dissolved and dissolved evaporitic zones. This boundary is situated between St. Ghislain and Douvrain, and is roughly parallel with the direction of the groundwater flow (WNW).