This study investigates the variability in solute release rates from samples of shale and slate with variable lithology resulting from contact metamorphism. Mineral dissolution column experiments are used to test the hypothesis that solute release rates will vary with metamorphic grade of Mancos Shale samples collected from the East River watershed in southcentral Colorado. To test if there is variation in solute release rates correlating to metamorphic grade in the East River watershed; flow through column experiments were performed at ambient temperatures ( 25C) in clear, acrylic columns with an internal diameter of 2.54 cm and a column length of 30.48 cm. The following synthetic rain water solution was mixed in 15 L batches: 4.07 mg NaNO3, 3.24 mg NaCl, 0.35 mg KCl,1.65 mg CaCl2 H2O, 2.98 mg MgSO4 7H2O, and 3.41 mg (NH4)2SO, per liter of deionized water. Lithium triazide at .05% by volume was added to the input solution to prevent bacterial growth (Neaman et al, 2004). The synthetic rain water solution was pumped through the columns and effluent samples were collected at approximately 24-hour intervals for 20-24. Mancos Shale in the East River watershed has been impacted by contact metamorphism. Mineral compositions have been altered from this metamorphism. The East River Mancos Shale samples are separated into three qualitative groups the highest metamorphosed, moderately metamorphosed, and least metamorphosed. Compositional differences in the bulk mineralogy of metamorphosed samples compared to unmetamorphosed samples are linked to differences in the steady state release of solutes.
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