A continuous monitor for assessment of 222Rn in the coastal ocean
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Radon-222 is a good natural tracer of groundwater flow into the coastalocean. Unfortunately, its usefulness is limited by the time consuming natureof collecting individual samples and traditional analysis schemes. We demonstratehere an automated system which can determine, on a “continuous”basis, the radon activity in coastal ocean waters. The system analyses 222Rn from a constant stream of water passing through an air-water exchangerthat distributes radon from the running flow of water to a closed air loop.The air stream is feed to a commercial radon-in-air monitor which determinesthe concentration of 222Rn by collection and measurement of theemitting daughters, 214Po and 218Po, via a charged semiconductordetector. Since the distribution of radon at equilibrium between the air andwater phases is governed by a well-known temperature dependence, the radonconcentration in the water is easily calculated.
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