An isotopic and anionic study of the hydrologic connectivity between the Waimakariri River and the Avon River, Christchurch, New Zealand [article]

Ryan William Owen Tutbury, University Of Canterbury
The Waimakariri-Avon River system is an important component of the Christchurch aquifer system and has been identified as one of, if not the, primary groundwater flow path. The Waimakariri-Avon River system is ideally suited to geochemical tracing of surface water- groundwater interaction and while many past studies have been undertaken to characterise this system, in terms of its geochemistry and physical hydrogeological components, there is still a large amount of uncertainty as to how long
more » ... ty as to how long it takes for groundwater to flow from the Waimakariri River, through the Waimakariri-Avon River groundwater system, to the springs that feed the Avon River. The primary goals of this thesis were to; 1) Constrain the residence time of groundwater connecting the Waimakariri-Avon River groundwater system using stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes and analysis of anionic concentrations of: chloride, fluoride, nitrate, nitrite, bromide and sulfate, 2) Provide additional evidence of a hydrological connection between the Waimakariri River and the Avon River systems, 3) Present observations of the stable isotopic and anionic response of surface water to rainfall events, 4) Identify stable isotopic and anionic surface water variation along the Waimakariri-Avon River system, and establish the reasons for these. This study presents the use of natural isotopic and anionic tracers to characterise the residence time of the groundwater that flows between the Waimakariri and Avon Rivers, by sampling surface water and meteoric water at sites that are part of the Waimakariri-Avon River system. 375 samples were collected from 10 surface water and 4 rainwater sites distributed across the Waimakariri-Avon River surface water-groundwater flow path between March 5th and August, 2014. Additionally the study provides further stable isotopic evidence of the connection between the Waimakariri and Avon Rivers, as well as presents the variability of surface water chemistry in response to rainfall events. Identification of isotopic and anionic variation a [...]
doi:10.26021/7282 fatcat:zaftje5zabeidlldkykln2spyq