Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Peter T. Kolesar


Peter T. Kolesar


Thomas Lachmar


Donald Fiesinger


As part of a U.S. Geological Survey study in Juab Valley in central Utah from 1991 to 1994, the chemistry of ground - and surface -water samples was determined. Total dissolved solids in the ground water of southern Juab Valley have historically been higher , in general, than ground water in other areas of Utah . Total dissolved solids for ground-water samples from this study ranged from 623 to 3,980 milligrams/liter. High-sulfate chemical data of previous studies suggested that the major source of ground-water salinity is the dissolution of gypsum (hydrous calcium sulfate ) from the Arapien Shale. Sulfur-34 to sulfur- 32 isotopic ratio data have confirmed that dissolved Arapien Shale is the major source of salinity in southern Juab Valley water.

This thesis study of southern Juab Valley had four main objectives: 1) define the present chemistry of the ground and surface water; 2) qualitatively determine the mineralogy of the Middle Jurassic Arapien Shale; 3) determine the major sources of salinity; and 4) determine the main flow path in the ground-water system. Chemical data show that the water in southern Juab Valley is predominantly of a calcium-magnesium-sulfate-bicarbonate composition. X-ray diffraction determined the mineralogy of the Arapien Shale as primarily calcite and quartz. Mineralogy of the acid-insoluble residue is illite, chlorite, quartz, and a trace of feldspar. Based on chemical, isotopic, and simple salt weight percent data, dissolution of gypsum is the major source of salinity in southern Juab Valley water. Using the chemical and isotopic data as input , a mass balance computer software program (NETPATH) helped to determine that the gypsum is derived from the Arapien Shale . NETPATH and the potentiometric surface map helped to define the main ground-water flow path as southwest across southern Juab Valley, from Chicken Creek in the San Pitch Mountains on the east side of the valley toward Chick Creek Reservoir in the southwest part of the valley.



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