Noble Gas Radionuclides

Our institute has sophisticated analytical facilities and experience for measurement and interpretation of environmental tracer data, in particular of the radioactive noble gases 85Kr and 39Ar which allow the determination of groundwater residence times from 10-1000 years.
We can perform complete studies from sampling, activity measurements and interpretation.

Environmental Traces in Groundwater Hydrology

Environmental tracers provide insight on groundwater flow and transport dynamics on a regional scale in aquifers because of their inherent spatial and temporal averaging properties.

Noble gases are ideal tracers of water movement because they are chemically inert and undergo no chemical reactions that could affect their interpretation (e.g. in terms of groundwater residence times)

Applications are:

  • Estimation of groundwater residence times
  • Resolution of complete age structures and mixing ratios of different water components
  • Quantification of groundwater recharge to regional groundwater systems
  • Determination of the origin of groundwater
  • Constrain parameters of the fracture network of a fractured aquifer