Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lenczewski, Melissa E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


The Yalahau Region, located in the northeastern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula, hosts a series of elongated depressions trending north/south in the direction of Isla Holbox, identified as the Holbox Fracture Zone. Previous studies have explored the geomorphology and various hydrologic characteristics of the Yucatán Peninsula; however, there is a paucity of data concerning the interior region where the fractures are located. Strontium isotope and major ion geochemistry data of the surface water and groundwater of this region serves as a hydrogeochemical fingerprint, aiding to constrain the hydrological boundaries, determining flow paths, and characterizing hydrogeochemical processes that impact the composition of the groundwater within the region. 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios indicate a different signature than surrounding bedrock, inferring that the flow throughout the Yalahau region is moving through channels faster than that of much of the Yucatán. Through major ion geochemistry we were able to delineate at least two flow paths within the Yalahau Region and identify a point of saline intrusion at least 35km from the coast. Gaining an understanding of the hydrogeochemistry and water flow regions is critical in determining the impact of various activities (e.g. extensive tourism, drinking water withdrawal, wastewater discharge/injection) that occur within the Yucatán Peninsula.


64 pages




Northern Illinois University

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