Regional hydrogeological characterization of the northeastern Margin in the Williston Basin

By: Daniele Palombi

© Daniele Davide Palombi, 2008

Submitted to the University of Alberta as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.

University of Alberta

Thesis Abstract

A hydrostratigraphic framework of 19 aquifers and 13 aquitards has been developed across Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the Williston Basin. Detailed hydrochemical analyses have identified four water compositions: Type 1 (Ca-SO4) waters, TDS less than 10 g/L, are found in recharge zones; Type 2 (Na-Cl) brines represent evolved waters derived from halite dissolution; Type 3 (Na-HCO3) waters denote meteoric or subglacial recharge that originates from Ca-HCO3 compositions; and Type 4 (Na-SO4) brackish waters represent a mixed composition between meteoric and Na-Cl end-members. The central Williston Basin has horizontal fluid flow traveling up-dip toward the northeast. Vertical flow is evident toward the basin margin. Salt dissolution promotes upward vertical flow and where present the Prairie Evaporite Formation forms a competent barrier between aquifers. Density-dependent flows are found in southern Saskatchewan. Regional hydrogeology is imperative to discern and comprehend the chemical evolution of basinal brines and dynamics of brines during meteoric/subglacial recharge.

Palombi, D.D. 2008: Regional hydrogeological characterization of the northeastern margin in the Williston Basin; M.Sc. thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, 196 p.; URL

Open File OF2010-45/OF2011-3
Palombi, B. and Rostron, B.J. (2013): Regional hydrogeological characterization of the northeastern margin of the Williston Basin; Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy, Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Open File 2010-45/Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines, Manitoba Geological Survey, Open File OF2011-3, set of 55 1:3 000 000-scale maps.

For more information on this thesis, contact:

Dan Palombi, M.Sc., P.Geo
Manager - Groundwater Inventory & Basin Analyis
Alberta Geological Survey
Alberta Energy Regulator
402 Twin Atria Building
4999 - 98 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6B 2X3

Telephone: 780-644-5501
Cel: 780-499-6911

Conference Abstracts

Palombi, D.D. and Rostron, B.J. (2006): Regional hydrochemistry of Lower Paleozoic aquifers in the northern portion of the Williston Basin, Saskatchewan–Manitoba; in Gilboy, C.F. and Whittaker, S.G. (eds.), Saskatchewan and Northern Plains Oil & Gas Symposium 2006, Saskatchewan Geological Society Special Publication 19, p201-209. [23_palombi.pdf]

Palombi, D. D., and Rostron, B.J. 2007: Regional hydrogeological characterization in the north eastern margin of the Williston Basin, Saskatchewan-Manitoba, Canada; 2007 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting & Exposition, 28-31 October, Denver Colorado, abstract. [palombi-rostron_gsa2007.pdf]

Palombi, D., and Rostron, B. 2010: Regional Hydrogeological Characterization in the Northeastern Margin of the Williston Basin, Saskatchewan-Manitoba, Canada. GeoCanada 2010, Calgary, Alberta, May 10-14, abstract. [palombi-rostron_gc2010.pdf]

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