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Hydrostratigraphy and hydrogeochemistry of the Vale of Eden, Cumbria, UK

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul Younger


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The nature and extent of the hydrostratigraphic units in the Vale of Eden, Cumbria, has been established by an appraisal of existing lithostratigraphical information. The Penrith and St Bees sandstones are the most important aquifiers; drift geology strongly influences recharge processes. Regional recharge and discharge areas are apparent from existing piezometric data; the principal drain for groundwater in the Vale is the River Eden and its tributaries. The quality of groundwater in the Vale is generally good, and conforms to Ca-HCO3 facies. Local trends towards Ca-SO4 facies are found adjacent to the Eden Shales, but salinities are not excessive. Nitrates are generally low, but in at least one shallow unconfined portion of the Penrith Sandstones, a rising trend is discernible. The Penrith Sandstone waters are poorly buffered, and in some cases, pH is below 5.5. It is considered that this may locally be due to nitrification of ammoniacal fertilizers where the sandstone is unconfined. Groundwaters in the Vale are undersaturated with respect to the major carbonate minerals, but saturated with respect to silica (amorphous or as quartz) and massively super-saturated with respect to hematite. This suggests that the characteristic cements of the Penrith Sandstone may still be precipitating today. Priorities for further research include delineation of aquifer geometry and intensified hydrochemical monitoring.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Younger PL, Milne CA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society

Year: 1997

Volume: 51

Pages: 349-366

Print publication date: 01/11/1997

ISSN (print): 0044-0604

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House


DOI: 10.1144/pygs.51.4.349


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