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Unfilterable “ geoaerosols”, their use in search for thermal, mineral and mineralised waters and their possible influence on the origin of certain types of mineral waters
AbstractMany articles describing the unusual mobility of solid particles in the subsurfaces layers of the Earth´s crust have been published in the last several decades, especially in the geological literature. In an attempt to explain this phenomenon several hypotheses have been developed. The one closest to the behavior observed in nature is based on quantum mechanics. Based on this phenomenon, a new geological prospecting method called Molecular Form of Elements (MFE) was developed in former Czechoslovakia during the 1970´s. It has been widely applied since for various types of prospecting, including search for thermal and mineral waters. When using the MFE method for prospecting, the relationship between the ascending mineral springs and four directions of structural faults was discovered. The possibility of whether a process similar to the one acting during the absorption of elements when using the MFE method can be a source of dissolved solid particles during the creation of mineral waters is also discussed.
Key words : Solid matter particles movement in Earth´s crust -- Quantum mechanics - New investigation method - Mineralisation of minera waters
B.Krčmář, AGEX Inc., Geologická 2b, 152 00 PRAHA 5 - Barrandov
T. Vylita, Mineral Water Office, Lázenska 2, CZ 360 01 Karlovy Vary TF/fax 00420173222839, e-mail: email@example.com
In the last few decades, unexpected mobility of particles in the geological environment, apparently defying the laws of classical physics and chemistry, have been reported in technical papers by a number of authors (Ryss 1977; Lukashev 1984; Voorhees et al. 1986; Grigorjan 1987; Kristianson and Malmquist 1987 and Wang and others 1997).
These until recently very little studied particles used in the geological prospection are usually called geogases, nanoscale particles or geoaerosols.
It was discovered during the 1970´s in former Czechoslovakia that air above the vertical geological structures, when drawn through the aerosol filter over special sorbent, deposited on it large (up to several micrograms) amounts of elements (Ca, K, Na, Al etc.) although the filters used (Millipore 0.4 micron) are known to safely capture all nanoscale size particles. It has been proven that these are not metaloorganic gases.
The unexpected properties of these predominantly metallic elements are demonstrated mainly by their resistance to be filtered off, i.e. in this case they behave as gases and pass undiminished through the aerosol filters. Concentrations of these elements form relatively narrow "plates" penetrating through any rock environment of the overburden layers. Statistically significant measurements of concentration fields of these elements in an unfilterable form show their stable concentration at various heights above surface as well as their independence on the air flow speed.
Practical application of this phenomenon is a method called the Molecular Form of Elements (MFE). During more than 20 years of using this method in practical geological exploration, over 100,000 measurements were made in many countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.
A new exploration method of Molecular Form of Elements (MFE)
Theoretical basis of the MFE method.
All conventional explanations of similar methods used for geological axploration are based on a theory that the particles ("geoaerosols") are carried to the surface by geogas, regardless of the faults or pores being filled with water. Most of the standard methods - unlike the MFE method - require collection of samples from the air in the soil (Ryss 1977, Lukashev 1984, Voorhees and Klusman 1986, Kristianson and Malmquist 1987).
However the conventional explanations ignore the predominance of adhesive forces over inertial ones for particles smaller than 1 micron. Such particles, once they touch a solid surface, become attached to it and for all practical purposes become immovable at normal temperatures (i.e. below 350°K).
As mentioned before, the MFE method uses the collection of samples from the atmospheric air, usually at heights of 1 meter above ground, with practically no influence of wind or adverse atmospheric conditions.
The theory behind the MFE is based on quantum mechanics. It is assumed that the particles (geoaerosols) are lightly bound to surface of solids, i.e. they are not fully bound within the lattices (i.e. atomic lattices). It is also assumed that the particles in these shallow potential wells are located in cracks and fissures with the impenetrable walls. When stress is applied adiabatically to the shallow potential wells, it forces the particles out of their wells. Then, according to a simplified version of the Schr ö dinger equation, the emerging particles are teleported from their point of origin to locations a considerable distance away. It can be as far away as, for instance, the air above the geological faults. If an absorber with a large enough surface area is positioned there, the particles get localized (become absorbed) in it and their concentration can be later measured by conventional analytical techniques (AAS, ICP/MS).
A paper about such experiments describing the teleportation process similar to the one proposed by other authors (R.F. Holub and P.K. Smrz, unpub. data), has been published recently by Bouwmeester and others (1997)
Theoretical principles of MFE method were verified by a series of physical a and chemical field measurements in nonpermeable (fully sealed) spaces (e.g. Twilight mine, Colorado, USA 1994, Poniklá Cave, the Czech republic, 1998 and 1999).
The aerosol particles ranging from 3 to 200 nm were measured at 2-hour intervals for five weeks in the fully sealed Poniklá Cave with no water in liquid form present. The measurements were done using the Diffusion Particle Sizer (DPS) and the Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), made by TSI Inc., by a team led by Prof. R.F.Holub from the Colorado School of Mines, Denver, USA. Other measured parameters included organic matter present in the air, both in the solid and gaseous form, radon and the products of its disintegration, and air temperature, pressure and humidity (Holub and others 1999). The episodic generation of particles only a few nanometers in diameter was observed, their size increased with time.
Description of the equipment and technique used
A diagram of the sampling device is shown in Figure 1. Air is drawn through a filter (Millipore 0.8 m ) into the absorber and then is returned into the atmosphere. Its total volume and the flow rate are regulated by the control unit. In most cases the sorbent is in a liquid form, with total volume about 6 to 8 ml and pH between 3 and 7. The exposed sorbent is later analysed using either the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) or the Induction Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP/MS) methods.
The exposure of the sorbent is done by continuously pumping the atmospheric air through it while the testing equipment is moved along a pre-selected traverse. The length of the traverse varies between 0.2 and 700 m, depending on the investigated feature. Most commonly used lengths range between 10 and 20 m, with the corresponding duration of exposure between 30 and 60 seconds. The traversing is done either along a pre-selected network, passable for the field crew, or is selected from the available maps.
Using MFE method in the hydrogeological prospection
Concentration field of elements detected by the MFE provides information on distribution of vertical inhomogeneities (faults, veins, rock contacts etc.), and documents what elements are present in these structures, even under any overburden. This information provides a wide scope for using the MFE method in geological prospecting.
The MFE method has been also successfully used for special purposes such as search for thermal, mineral or mineralized and potable waters located at great depths. One of the more significant features of the MFE method is its ability to distinguish these types of waters using the relative concentrations of elements which are characteristic for each particular type of water. Two examples of the search for water in Algeria and Austria respectively are given below.
The search for potable water was prompted by acute lack of water, needed for irrigation of orange groves in Mohamadia, Algeria, due to persistently lower than average precipitation in the Beni Chougran range. The deep-lying, potentially water-bearing structures lay several hundred meters under a highly saline overburden, making electrical methods ineffective. The MFE reconnaissance method detected a major structure with low concentrations of Na and Mg, which were a good indication of a potential source of potable water under the overburden (see Figure 2). Subsequent drilling had intersected a fault structure that produced 42.5 l/s of potable water.
The second project objective was to search for thermal waters at five different localities in the Austrian Alps. An example of a typical signature of thermal waters at a locality at Bad Mitterndorf is shown in Figure 3, where known springs of thermal, mineralised waters are located. The profile presented in Figure 3 shows the springs located at a distance between 1 600 and 2 250 m.
Possible influence of the MFE-detected particles on the origin of certain types of mineral waters.
The results of extensive measurements of concentration fields elements above the ascending springs of mineral waters in the West Bohemia region showed that these springs are located at the intersection of faults of four directions. Prevailing fault directions are N-S, E-W, NW-SE and NE-SW. It is interesting that the same configuration of the fault systems above the ascending springs of mineral waters was detected in China (Z. Pang, unpub. data).
The similar fault orientation was also detected in the center of the Karlovy Vary (The Czech Republic) thermal spring structure. Thermal spring Vřídlo - the Hot Spring - is a perfect example of such an intersection.
Results of the measurements by the MFE method (as well as the standard geophysical measurements) in the outlying areas of the Karlovy Vary thermal spring structure show no such evidence of perfect four-directional fault intersection.
There is a possibility that their presence is the main reason for the location of the center of the mineral spring structure at Vřídlo Hot Spring and only the small amount of liquid phase present in both outlying areas despite the high ascent of CO2 (Figure 4).
The reason why such intersection of faults is so important for ascending springs of mineral waters is not very well known yet. It is assumed that the group of four systems of (sub)vertical faults in Earth´s crust is necessary for the ascent of gases from the depths and at the same time, for creation of right conditions for the ascent of underground water in the subsurface parts of crust.
Intersection of four vertical or subvertical fault structures in the subsurface layers of the crust creates a formation similar to a cylinder several tens to hundreds meters long. This cylinder is filled with water under hydrostatic pressure which also contains bubbling gas (mostly CO2 ).
The authors wish to point out that a similar process, i.e. gas bubbling through liquid sorbents above fault structures, is used in MFE method. After 40 second exposure up to several micrograms of elements typical for mineral waters are deposited in the sorbent. It has to be noted particles of solid matter cannot pass through the special aerosol filters used in experiments and measurements because of the adhesive forces. The possibility of the concentration fields being affected by metalorganic gases was studied and disproved.
The possibility that the similar process, i.e. bubbling of CO2 gas through the water cylinder, can lead to the localization of matter waves (wave packets) commonly present at the fault intersections from the surrounding areas is still only speculative.
Such processes could explain the origin of cold mineral waters located at relatively shallow depths below surface, e.g. mineral waters of Mari ánské Lázně Spa where the waters originate only several tens meters below surface. The uncertain origin of mineralisation of these waters, which are about 250 Ka (thousand years) old and yield about 1 ton of salt per day, could be explained by localization, i.e. by pulling the matter waves created in the surrounding fault structures.
Despite of large and long-term successful applocation of the MFE method in geological investigation and successful experiments carried out in order to explain the principles of the method, there is yet no clear evidence of ascent of solid matter particles along the vertical inhomogeneities of Earth´s crust and of their capture on the surface. There is a need for further investigations.
The high efficiency of the MFE method, proven in prospecting for thermal and mineral waters, is due to its frequent use over a period of several decades.
The hypothesis of the probable origin of some types of mineral waters, based on principles of quantum mechanics, is still speculative and has yet to be proved directly by experiments. It is based on the MFE method and its practice with bubbling the air through the water filled cylinder. By using this type of sampling, the elements typical for mineral waters can be detected in the sorbent at the ratio as in nature. However, concentration of these elements is comparatively lower than in the mineral waters. Further investigations are needed to prove this hypothesis further.
BOUWMEESTER D, PAN JW, KATTLE K, EIBL M, WEINFURTHER H, ZEILINGER H (1997) Experimental quantum teleportation. Nature: 390, 575-577
GRIGORJAN SV (1987) Techniques for investigation of ore resources. Patent 19 SU 11 1341606 A1, Int.Cl. 51 4GO1 V 9/00, Moscow
HOLUB RF, REIMER GM, HOPKE PK, HOVORKA J, KRCMAR B, SMRZ PK (1999) "Geoaerosols", their origin, transport and paradoxical behavior: a challenge to aerosol science. J. Aerosol Sci. Vol.30, Suppl.111-S112
KRISTIANSON K, MALMQUIST L (1987) Trace elements in the geogas and their relation to bedrock composition. Geoexploration 24: 517-534
LUKASHEV VK (1984) Mode of occurence of elements in secondary enviroment. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 21: 73-87
RYSS JC (1977) Investigation and use of physical and chemical processing for search and prospecting of mineral resources. Metodika i technika razvedki 84. Leningrad 1977. UDK 550.849.082.75 (in Russian)
VOORHEES KJ, KLUSMAN RW (1986) Apparatus and method for geochemical prospecting. Patent No 4,573,354,U.S.Cl. 73/432R, Int.Cl.G01V9/00
WANG X., CHENG Z, LU Y, XU L, Xie X (1997) Nanoscale metals in earth gas and mobile forms of metals in overburden in wide-spaced regional exploration for large deposits in overburden terrains. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 58: 63-72
List of Figures
Fig. 1 Drawing - Schematic diagram of the sampling device
Fig. 2 Drawing - Mohamadia (Algeria) 1983 Concentrations of Ca, Na and Mg in atmospheric air above water-bearing fault structure
Fig. 3 Bad Mitterndorf (Austria) 1996 Measurements of Ca, K and Zn in a region of known thermal springs
Fig.4 Karlovy Vary (the Czech Republic) Tectonic situation in the surroundings of CO2 and mineral water outlets
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