Radiocarbon in Natural Waters
Carbon has always played an important role in geochemical processes which take place in the upper layers of the Earth and, in the first instance, in the formation of the sedimentary terrestrial layer and the evolution of the biosphere. Radioactive carbon 14C is often used as a tracer of various natural processes such as the circulation of natural waters, their redistribution between the natural reservoirs, water dynamics of the hydrosphere and its elements, and is applicable for estimating the age of such waters. The age of geological formations and groundwater within the time scale up to 60,000 years is of a great interest for modern geology and hydrogeology. The data of radiocarbon distribution in different carbon-bearing natural objects are used for reconstruction of their paleoclimatic changes and for solving astrophysical problems related to variation with respect to time of the cosmic rays. In this chapter, the main attention is drawn to the distribution and application of radiocarbon with respect to dynamics of natural waters.