Chemical weathering source provenance changes associated with Typhoon Mindulle (2004) were identified for the Choshui River Watershed in west-central Taiwan using radiogenic Sr isotope (87Sr/86Sr) and major ion chemistry analysis of water samples collected before, during, and following the storm event. Storm water sampling over 72 h was conducted in 3 h intervals, allowing for novel insight into weathering regime changes in response to intense rainfall events. Chemical weathering sources were determined to be bulk silicate and disseminated carbonate minerals at the surface and silicate contributions from deep thermal waters. Loss on ignition analysis of collected rock samples indicate disseminated carbonate can compose over 25% by weight of surface mineralogy, but typically makes up ∼2–3% of watershed rock. 87Sr/86Sr and major element molar ratios indicate that Typhoon Mindulle caused a weathering regime switch from normal flow incorporating a deep thermal signature to that of a system dominated by surface weathering. The data suggest release of silicate solute rich soil pore waters during storm events, creating a greater relative contribution of silicate weathering to the solute load during periods of increased precipitation and runoff. Partial depletion of this soil solute reservoir and possible erosion enhanced carbonate weathering lead to increased importance of carbonates to the weathering regime as the storm continues. Major ion data indicate that complex mica weathering (muscovite, biotite, illite, chlorite) may represent an important silicate weathering pathway in the watershed. Deep thermal waters represent an important contribution to river solutes during normal non-storm flow conditions. Sulfuric acid sourced from pyrite weathering is likely a major weathering agent in the Choshui River watershed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology