Contaminant Geochemistry by B. Berkowitz, et al.

By B. Berkowitz, et al.

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Groundwater may contain dissolved gases as a result of exposure to the surface environment prior water infiltration, contact with the subsurface gaseous phase, and gas produced biologically below the water table. The most important dissolved gas in groundwater is CO2. Chapter 2 Selected Geochemical Processes In physical chemistry, the world is divided in two parts: the system, containing the portion of the world of particular interest, and the surroundings, comprising the region outside the system (Atkins and de Paula 2002).

2 Weathering 39 Fig. 2 Solubility of gypsum in aqueous solutions with an increasing NaCl content (Shternina 1960) showed that organic acids can greatly enhance the dissolution process, especially where reactions take place in an open, flow-through (nonequilibrium) system. 1). If a carbonate mineral dissolves in water that is equilibrated with a constant source of CO2, then the concentration of dissolved carbonic acid remains constant and high. However, when calcite dissolution is accompanied by consumption of carbonic acid and a continuous source of CO2 is not maintained, the reaction proceeds further to achieve equilibrium.

Because real processes are never completely reversible, the entropy is a measure of the degree in which a system has lost heat and therefore part of its capacity to do work. In general, a local decrease in entropy is possible but must be accompanied by an increase in entropy in the surrounding system. In real geochemical (open) systems, a change in entropy must be equal to (in the case of reversible change) or greater than zero: dS ≥ dq / T . 4) A fundamental equation combines the first and second laws of thermodynamics and, in this manner, addresses the behavior of matter.

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