Available Technology

Groundwater Age-Dating for Water Resource Characterization

The increasing national and international demand for water has led to increasing reliance on subsurface storage, both for naturally and artificially recharged water. This increased reliance on the groundwater in concert with the strict regulation on water quality has led to a need by water managers and regulators to understand: - How much and on what time scales groundwater can be recharged and withdrawn in specific sub-basins, - Groundwater flow fields at both recharge and basin scales, - Water quality impacts of recharge water storage and recovery in a subsurface that is bio-geochemically active, - How changes in management practices have and will affect water quality, and - Future distributions of contaminants in the subsurface. Characterization of mean groundwater age and recharge temperature through the use of noble gas techniques provides information that is relevant to answering these questions and that is not accessible through traditional hydrogeologic approaches.
Patent Abstract: 
LLNL has developed a noble gas mass spectrometry facility that houses a state-of-the-art water-gas separation manifold and mass spectrometry system designed specifically for high throughput of groundwater samples. The fully automated, computer-controlled manifold system allows analysis of the full suite of noble gases (3He/4He, He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe concentrations), along with low level tritium for reporting of derived quantities that include tritium/helium-3 groundwater age, noble gas recharge temperature, and dissolved excess air concentration.
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
19008
Lab Representatives
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Google Plus Share to Linkedin