• Water quality and water-rock interaction in the Harz Mountains (Germany)

      Bozau, Elke; Staerk, Hans-Joachim; Strauch, Gerhard; Swanson, Claudia H.; Technische Universitaet Clausthal, University of Chester (European Federation of Geologists, 2015-11-01)
      The Harz Mountains, known for ancient silver and base metal mining, are an important drinking water supply region for northern Germany today. The water quality of the Harz Mountains is mainly influenced by atmospheric depositions, water-rock inter- actions and biological activities. Anthropogenic influences are minor. Springs, creeks, lakes and reservoirs have relatively low mineralisation. Measured as specific electrical conductivity, the mineralisation of the different water bodies ranges from about 15 to 650 µS/cm. Only deep springs and mine waters reach higher values. Despite dilution effects due to different rainwater amounts, water-rock interaction can be retraced by the chemical water composition, especially by trace metals and rare earth element concentrations. Examples of water-rock interaction are discussed for granite, greywacke and limestone.