Tritium/3He measurements in young groundwater. Chronologies for environmental records

P. Schlosser, S. D. Shapiro, M. Stute, W. Aeschbach-Hertig, N. Plummer, E. Busenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


Tritium/3He measurements yield quantitative information on the age of young groundwater. Such measurements provide an important element in the use of groundwater flow systems as archives of environmental records. The general principles of tritium/3He dating of natural waters for this purpose are briefly discussed. This is followed by case studies in which tritium/3He dating is applied to groundwater flow systems of different complexity with respect to (1) the hydrogeological setting, (2) the presence of terrigenic helium (crustal and mantle sources) complicating separation of the tritiogenic 3He component and (3) the presence of tritium from sources other than natural production and (surface) tests of nuclear devices. The case studies include simple, sandy aquifers and more complicated sites such as fractured bedrock. They show that under most circumstances, tritium/3He data, if interpreted in the proper hydrogeological context, can provide reliable, quantitative age information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIsotope techniques in the study of environmental change. Proceedings of a symposium, Vienna, April 1997.
Editors IAEA
PublisherInternational Atomic Energy Agency
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9201005989
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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