Schoeller diagrams in geo-chemistry
The Schoeller diagram is used to illustrate the relative concentrations of anions and cations. These concentrations are usually expressed in milliequivalents per litre. A Schoeller diagram can be used to compare concentrations from different water sources. An example is whereby samples are obtained from a variety of wells and comparison made on a single Schoeller diagram to explore patterns in the concentration of anions and cations. It is an essential technique for groundwater chemistry. Consequently, it is used in the analysis of the chemical composition of rock materials.
Human dependence on groundwater for various uses such as drinking water necessitates the need for extensive analysis and understanding of groundwater chemistry. Since geologic formations and atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide, chemical analysis is a crucial aspect in understanding groundwater. As ions concentrations are a significant component of the chemical analysis, Schoeller diagrams are useful in making vivid illustrations. One of the considerable strengths of the Schoeller diagram is that it can accommodate a large number of chemicals hence allows for comprehensive analysis and comparisons.
The ion concentrations in water define its usability. A particular concentration limit permits water to be used for drinking. When such a level is exceeded, the water will not be suitable for drinking since it may have impurities which are a hazard to human health. The geochemical analysis, therefore, forms the basis through which water usability is determined. Water properties such as pH and chemical equivalence determine ionic concentrations.
Schoeller diagrams enable researchers to have visual comparisons of ionic concentration in water. It is beneficial as it allows for multiple comparisons of water analyses and finding the degree of saturation in water. Geochemistry charts, including Schoeller Diagrams and Piper Diagrams, are quickly produced using data management software, for example, ESdat.
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Dauda, M. and Habib, G.A. (2015). Graphical Techniques of Presentation of Hydro-Chemical Data. Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 5(4), 65-75.