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Conference Papers Year : 2010

Salinity increase with depth in fractured aquifers

Luc Aquilina
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Tanguy Le Borgne
Olivier Bour
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Alexandre Boisson
Virginie Vergnaud-Ayraud
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Fractured aquifers constitute an interesting water resource. Due to anthropogenic activities, the upper part of these aquifers [0-30 m] is often highly polluted. (nitrate concentrations above 50 mgL-1 in French Brittany). However, the deeper part of these aquifers [30-150 m] may constitute an alternative for water exploitation and present unpolluted water due to long residence times. We investigated a site exploited for drinking water at a depth of 100 m. A clear reactivity has developed close to the pumping well, pumping inducing autotrophic denitrification reactions with pyrite. The site also presents higher salinities than surface waters with Cl concentrations ranging from 50 to 100 mgL-1. Salinity increases with depth and also increases with time in the abstraction well in relation to pumping. Temperature anomalies indicate that the more saline waters originate from at least 300 m depth. Chemical (major, traces, Br/Cl ratios) and isotopic analyses (O, D, Sr, B) indicate that the saline waters present a marine signature. Noble gases present an argon enrichment which indicates either an argon production or a recharge temperature of 5°C which would require a large regional recharge following the last glacial maximum. This example indicates that French Brittany may present saline waters at shallow depth and require a coupled investigation of biogeochemical and mixing processes.


Earth Sciences
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Dates and versions

insu-00609421 , version 1 (19-07-2011)


  • HAL Id : insu-00609421 , version 1


Luc Aquilina, M. Laurencelle, Thierry Labasque, Tanguy Le Borgne, Olivier Bour, et al.. Salinity increase with depth in fractured aquifers. Goldschmidt 2010: Earth, Energy, and the Environment, Jun 2010, Knoxville Tennessee, United States. pp.A29. ⟨insu-00609421⟩
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