Matthew B.J. Lindsay


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Variability in Timing and Transport of Pleistocene Meltwater Recharge to Regional Aquifers
Aidan C. Mowat, Daniel J. Francis, Jennifer C. McIntosh, Matthew B.J. Lindsay, Grant Ferguson
Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 48, Issue 20

The impacts of Pleistocene glaciation on groundwater flow systems in sedimentary basins are widely recognized, but the timing and distribution of subglacial recharge events remain poorly constrained. We investigate the spatial and temporal variability of recharge events from glaciations over the last 2 million years in the Williston Basin, Canada. Integration of fluid chemistry, stable isotope data, and transport modeling indicate that meltwater arrived at depths of ∼600–1000 m in the northcentral region of the Williston Basin at two separate time periods, 75–150 and 300 ka, which we attribute to permeability differences between stacked aquifer systems. Our findings indicate that meltwater recharge extended along the northern margin of the Williston Basin as well as previously identified recharge areas to the east. Given the distance of measurements from recharge areas, evidence of recharge from the early to mid-Pleistocene appears to be preserved in the Williston Basin.


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The Persistence of Brines in Sedimentary Basins
Grant Ferguson, Jennifer C. McIntosh, Stephen E. Grasby, M. Jim Hendry, Scott Jasechko, Matthew B.J. Lindsay, Elco Luijendijk
Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 45, Issue 10

Brines are commonly found at depth in sedimentary basins. Many of these brines are known to be connate waters that have persisted since the early Paleozoic Era. Yet questions remain about their distribution and mechanisms for retention at depth in the Earth's crust. Here we demonstrate that there is insufficient topography to drive these dense fluids from the bottom of deep sedimentary basins. Our assessment based on driving force ratio indicates that sedimentary basins with driving force ratio > 1 contain connate waters and frequently host large evaporite deposits. These stagnant conditions appear to be relatively stable over geological time and insensitive to factors such as glaciations, erosion, compaction, and hydrocarbon generation.