Major ion geochemistry of groundwaters from southern Nevada and eastern California, USA

  • Zhou Xiaoping 
  • Klaus J. Stetzenbach
  • Kevin H. Johannesson
  • Irene M. Farnham


The dissolved ionic constituents of groundwaters are, in part, a record of the minerals and rocks in aquifers through which the water has flowed. The chemical composition and association of these major ions in groundwaters have been used to trace groundwater flow paths and sources. In general, the chemical composition of water in carbonate-rock aquifers is dominated by calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate, whereas sodium, chloride, and sulfate can be dominant ions in the water that comes from volcanic aquifers or clay minerals. Since the 1990’s, we have dealt with the geochemistry of groundwaters from more than 100 springs and wells in southern Nevada and eastern California, USA for major solutes and trace elements. This paper compiles the hydrochemical data of major ions of these groundwaters. Based on major ion geochemistry, groundwaters from southern Nevada and eastern California can be classified as carbonate aquifer water, volcanic aquifer water, and mixing water (either mixing of carbonate and volcanic aquifer waters or mixing with local recharges). Piper and Stiff diagrams of major ions have graphically shown the general chemical characteristics, classifications, and mixing relationships of groundwaters from southern Nevada and eastern California.

Key words

geochemistry major ion groundwater Nevada and California 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhou Xiaoping 
    • 1
  • Klaus J. Stetzenbach
    • 1
  • Kevin H. Johannesson
    • 2
  • Irene M. Farnham
    • 1
  1. 1.Groundwater Geochemistry Group, Harry Reid Center for Environmental StudiesUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric SciencesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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