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Thermodynamics and log–contrast analysis in fluid geochemistry
Buccianti, Antonella; Nisi, Barbara; Vaselli, Orlando
Mateu i Figueras, Glòria; Barceló i Vidal, Carles; Universitat de Girona. Departament d’Informàtica i Matemàtica Aplicada
There are two principal chemical concepts that are important for studying the naturalenvironment. The first one is thermodynamics, which describes whether a system is atequilibrium or can spontaneously change by chemical reactions. The second main conceptis how fast chemical reactions (kinetics or rate of chemical change) take place wheneverthey start. In this work we examine a natural system in which both thermodynamics andkinetic factors are important in determining the abundance of NH+4 , NO−2 and NO−3 insuperficial waters. Samples were collected in the Arno Basin (Tuscany, Italy), a system inwhich natural and antrophic effects both contribute to highly modify the chemical compositionof water. Thermodynamical modelling based on the reduction-oxidation reactionsinvolving the passage NH+4 -& NO−2 -& NO−3 in equilibrium conditions has allowed todetermine the Eh redox potential values able to characterise the state of each sample and,consequently, of the fluid environment from which it was drawn. Just as pH expressesthe concentration of H+ in solution, redox potential is used to express the tendency of anenvironment to receive or supply electrons. In this context, oxic environments, as thoseof river systems, are said to have a high redox potential because O2 is available as anelectron acceptor.Principles of thermodynamics and chemical kinetics allow to obtain a model that oftendoes not completely describe the reality of natural systems. Chemical reactions may indeedfail to achieve equilibrium because the products escape from the site of the rectionor because reactions involving the trasformation are very slow, so that non-equilibriumconditions exist for long periods. Moreover, reaction rates can be sensitive to poorly understoodcatalytic effects or to surface effects, while variables as concentration (a largenumber of chemical species can coexist and interact concurrently), temperature and pressurecan have large gradients in natural systems. By taking into account this, data of 91water samples have been modelled by using statistical methodologies for compositionaldata. The application of log–contrast analysis has allowed to obtain statistical parametersto be correlated with the calculated Eh values. In this way, natural conditions in whichchemical equilibrium is hypothesised, as well as underlying fast reactions, are comparedwith those described by a stochastic approach
Geologische Vereinigung; Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya; International Association for Mathematical Geology; Patronat de l’Escola Politècnica Superior de la Universitat de Girona; Fundació privada: Girona, Universitat i Futur; Càtedra Lluís Santaló d’Aplicacions de la Matemàtica; Consell Social de la Universitat de Girona; Ministerio de Ciencia i Tecnologí
Aigua -- Química
Geoquímica -- Models matemàtics
Estadística matemàtica -- Informàtica
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Universitat de Girona. Departament d’Informàtica i Matemàtica Aplicada

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