Groundwater age dating using tritium

1) as a ‘dye’ that is delivered to natural water systems from the atmosphere on local to global scales.

These atmospheric substances, such as tritium (H) in water vapor from detonation of nuclear bombs in the 1950s and early 1960s,and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from refrigeration and other uses from the 1950s through the 1980s, dissolve in precipitation, become incorporated in the Earth’s hydrologic cycle, and can be found in ground water that has been recharged within the past 50 years.

Sampling for tracers The feasibility of using CFCs as tracers of recent recharge and indicators of ground-water age was first recognized in the 1970s (see Plummer and Busenberg, 1997 and references therein).

CFCs have been increasingly used in oceanic studies since the late 1970s as tracers of oceanic circulation, ventilation, and mixing processes.

Therefore, for quantitative studies, mixing has either to be ruled out as a major factor influencing the flow regime or it has to be accounted for in the data evaluation.

Significant differences between the apparent tritium/ is mainly determined by the ratio of advection to dispersion in water parcels moving away from the water table.

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