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Volume 9 Issue 2
Jun.  2021
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Zheng Zhao-xian, Cui Xiao-shun, Zhu Pu-cheng, et al. 2021: Sensitivity assessment of strontium isotope as indicator of polluted groundwater for hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids produced in the Dameigou Shale of Qaidam Basin. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 9(2): 93-101. doi: 10.19637/j.cnki.2305-7068.2021.02.001
Citation: Zheng Zhao-xian, Cui Xiao-shun, Zhu Pu-cheng, et al. 2021: Sensitivity assessment of strontium isotope as indicator of polluted groundwater for hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids produced in the Dameigou Shale of Qaidam Basin. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 9(2): 93-101. doi: 10.19637/j.cnki.2305-7068.2021.02.001

Sensitivity assessment of strontium isotope as indicator of polluted groundwater for hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids produced in the Dameigou Shale of Qaidam Basin

doi: 10.19637/j.cnki.2305-7068.2021.02.001
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  • Corresponding author: cxsh109@126.com
  • Received Date: 2020-12-07
  • Accepted Date: 2021-03-30
  • Available Online: 2021-08-18
  • Publish Date: 2021-06-15
  • Hydrogeochemical processes that would occur in polluted groundwater and aquifer system, may reduce the sensitivity of Sr isotope being the indicator of hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids (HFFF) in groundwater. In this paper, the Dameigou shale gas field in the northern Qaidam Basin was taken as the study area, where the hydrogeochemical processes affecting Sr isotope was analysed. Then, the model for Sr isotope in HFFF-polluted groundwater was constructed to assess the sensitivity of Sr isotope as HFFF indicator. The results show that the dissolution can release little Sr to polluted groundwater and cannot affect the εSr (the deviation of the 87Sr/86Sr ratio) of polluted groundwater. In the meantime, cation exchange can considerably affect Sr composition in the polluted groundwater. The Sr with low εSr is constantly released to groundwater from the solid phase of aquifer media by cation exchange with pollution of Quaternary groundwater by the HFFF and it accounts for 4.6% and 11.0% of Sr in polluted groundwater when the HFFF flux reaches 10% and 30% of the polluted groundwater, respectively. However, the Sr from cation exchange has limited impact on Sr isotope in polluted groundwater. Addition of Sr from cation exchange would only cause a 0.2% and 1.2% decrease in εSr of the polluted groundwater when the HFFF flux reaches 10% and 30% of the polluted groundwater, respectively. These results demonstrate that hydrogeochemical processes have little effect on the sensitivity of Sr isotope being the HFFF indicator in groundwater of the study area. For the scenario of groundwater pollution by HFFF, when the HFFF accounts for 5% (in volume percentage) of the polluted groundwater, the HFFF can result in detectable shifts of εSr (ΔεSr=0.86) in natural groundwater. Therefore, after consideration of hydrogeochemical processes occurred in aquifer with input of the HFFF, Sr isotope is still a sensitive indicator of the Quaternary groundwater pollution by the HFFF produced in the Dameigou shale of Qaidam Basin.
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