Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center

Aqueous Geochemistry Research and Development
Method Development

Using Fluoride/Chloride (F/Cl) Ratios to Evaluate Water Sources and Transport Pathways

Rich Wanty

F/Cl ratios in waters can be used to help evaluate water sources and transport pathways. There are a few factors that govern the F/Cl systematics: 1) fluoride is uncommon in most rocks, but more common in mineral deposits, so it provides a good source term, and 2) fluoride may be reactive, so it can't necessarily be treated as a conservative solute. To further test the utility of using F/Cl ratios, existing literature was compiled and experiments were performed on fluoride adsorption onto common rock-forming minerals, such as quartz, feldspars, and micas. Dissolution of micas also may be a source term in some cases. The hypothesis that the variation in F/Cl ratios in nature exceeds the amount of F attenuation due to water-rock interactions was tested. Once the reactivity of fluoride is better understood, the assumption that F and Cl are conservative can be better tested.


Abstracts, Presentations, and Posters for Professional Technical Meetings

  • Wanty, R.B., Tuttle, M.L., Berger, B.R., Bove, D., and Eppinger, R.G., 2003, Environmental behavior of several unmined porphyry molybdenum and copper deposits in the Western USA [abs.]: 4th European Congress on Regional Geoscientific Cartography and Information Systems, Bologna, Italy, June 16-19, 2003. (Abstract and poster) Available online at [PDF file, 40 KB].
  • Wanty, R.B., and Seal, R.R. II (eds.), 2004, Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction (WRI-11), Saratoga Springs, New York, June 27-July 2, 2004, 1684 p.
  • Wanty, R.B., Ridley, W.I., Wolf, R., Lamothe, P., and Adams, M., 2005, Separation of copper, iron, and zinc from complex aqueous solutions for isotopic measurement: metal sources and processes of acidrock drainage: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 7, p. 50. See Wanty GSA abstract.

Contact Information

Rich Wanty
Box 25046 MS 964D Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046
Phone: (303) 236-1819
Email: rwanty

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Mineral Resources Program
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