Tritium age dating groundwater singleartistdating

Old pristine groundwater reflects the natural baseline quality.A transition to slightly elevated concentration due to low-intensity land-use was observed in groundwater recharged since around 1880.Plotting hydrochemistry and field parameters versus groundwater age allowed us to identify those parameters that have increasing concentrations with age and are therefore from geological sources.These indicators for natural groundwater evolution are: Na, HCO, and p H and conductivity.

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The threshold concentrations that distinguish natural baseline quality water from low-intensity land-use water, and low-intensity from high intensity land-use water, are 0.25 and 2.5 mg/L NO-N, respectively.The change in groundwater quality from pristine baseline to low–intensity impact around 1880 coincides with the start of the meat export industry.The change in groundwater quality from low to high intensity landuse impact around 1955 coincides with the start of industrialised agriculture.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. This system represents a capability for characterizing groundwater recharge conditions by dissolved gas analysis that is unmatched by any other laboratory.

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