An assessment of the potential to use water chemistry parameters to define ground water flow pathways at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Kim Alison Zukosky, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The purpose of this study is to assess the potential to use water chemistry parameters to determine ground water flow pathways at the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. South rim spring, ground, and surface waters and one north rim spring were sampled from September 1992 through September 1993. Field measurements (pH, electrical conductivity, alkalinity, temperature, total dissolved solids, and dissolved oxygen), major anion (fluoride, chloride, bromide, nitrate, phosphate, and sulfate) concentrations, selected trace element concentrations, and the ratios of the stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen. Major anion, trace element, and field measurement data were analyzed using the multivariate statistical technique Principal Component analysis as a quantitative means for differentiating between waters according to hydrochemistry. The analysis suggests that springs issuing from similar lithologic units and/or geographic localities have analogous chemistry; that local ground water hydrochemistry is similar to south rim springs water chemistry, and particularly those issuing from the Redwall-Muav Limestones. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).