Brown, G. H. and Tranter, M. and Sharp, M.J. (1996)
Experimental investigations of the weathering of suspended sediment by Alpine glacial meltwater
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- Hydrological Processes
- The magnitude and processes of solute acquisition by dilute meltwater in contact with suspended sediment in the channelized component of the hydroglacial system have been investigated through a suite of controlled laboratory experiments. Constrained by field data from Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Valais, Switzerland the effects of the water to rock ratio, particle size, crushing, repeated wetting and the availability of protons on the rate of solute acquisition are demonstrated. These ‘free-drift’ experiments suggest that the rock flour is extremely geochemically reactive and that dilute quickflow waters are certain to acquire solute from suspended sediment. These data have important implications for hydrological interpretations based on the solute content of glacial meltwater, mixing model calculations, geochemical denudation rates and solute provenance studies.