National Research Program


Geochemical Kinetics Studies of Silcate Rock Hydrologic Systems

Adequate description of mass transport in hydrologic systems requires knowledge of the rates of the reactions among the gaseous, solid, and liquid phases present. This knowledge of reaction rates is necessary because many chemical reactions occur simultaneously in natural systems, and only a few of these appear to reach equilibrium, even after long contact times. Therefore, a complete description of the chemical processes and their rates will allow realistic modeling of mass transport in natural and perturbed hydrologic systems. The objectives of this project include determining the relative importance of the factors controlling water quality and devising experiments to quantify the process by studying two model systems representing single lithologies extrusive volcanic and shale; determining the kinetics and mechanism(s) of these processes and the effects of natural variation on the controlling factors; and suggesting reaction models by combining solution chemistry and the results of surface alteration studies.

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