Tritium water dating

It is independent of the initial tritium concentration of the water sample which is one of the advantages of the method because it eliminates the necessity to establish the exact time- dependent tritium delivery to the aquifer.

A potential problem for the quantitative interpretation of the tritium/He age is typically biased toward the age of the water component with the higher tritium concentration.

Tritium is produced naturally in the upper atmosphere by interaction of nitrogen, and, to a lesser extent, oxygen with cosmic rays.

After oxidation to HTO, it takes part in the natural water cycle.

Water in rain, oceans, lakes, streams and glacial ice pick up these tracers through contact with the atmosphere.

Using concentration differences between this infiltration-weighted mean and the drip water, an age is calculated from the radioactive decay law, assuming piston flow.

Information about the age of ground water can be used to define recharge rates, refine hydrologic models of ground-water systems, predict contamination potential, and estimate the time needed to flush contaminants from ground-water systems.

CFCs also can be used to trace seepage from rivers into ground-water systems, provide diagnostic tools for detection and early warning of leakage from landfills and septic tanks, and to assess susceptibility of water-supply wells to contamination from near-surface sources.

We welcome collaborative research and the opportunity to contribute or assist in research design.

H), and other chemical and isotopic substances in ground water, can be used to trace the flow of young water (water recharged within the past 50 years) and to determine the time elapsed since recharge.

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