Aquifer Characteristics (U-Series)
Reference work entry
Groundwater concentrations of naturally occurring isotopes in the 238U, 235U, and 232Th decay series that are used to identify and quantify a range of aquifer characteristics.
The radionuclides 238U, 235U, and 232Th decay in a series of shorter-lived radionuclides, and these decay series (Figure 1) provide an important tool for investigating various aquifer characteristics, including chemical parameters, flow patterns, and transport of actinides. The relationships between the radionuclides in groundwater provide the potential for readily quantifying parameters of water/rock interaction from direct measurements of waters alone, with trace element source terms and bulk adsorption coefficients inferred from comparison between the different radionuclides.
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