The use of 236U and 229Th in alpha spectrometric measurements has some advantages over the use of other tracers and measurement techniques in isotope dilution analyses of most geological samples. The advantages are: (1) these isotopes do not occur in terrestrial rocks, (2) they have negligible decay losses because of their long half lives, (3) they cause minimal recoil contamination to surface-barrier detectors, (4) they allow for simultaneous determination of the concentration and isotopic composition of uranium and thorium in a variety of sample types, and (5) they allow for simple and constant corrections for spectral inferences, 0.5% of the 238U activity is subtracted for the contribution of 235U in the 236U peak and 1% of the 229Th activity is subtracted from the 230Th activity. Disadvantages in using 236U and 229Th are: (1) individual separates of uranium and thorium must be prepared as very thin sources for alpha spectrometry, (2) good resolution in the spectrometer system is required for thorium isotopic measurements where measurement times may extend to 300 h, and (3) separate calibrations of the 236U and 229Th spike solution with both uranium and thorium standards are required. The use of these tracers in applications of uranium-series disequilibrium studies has simplified the measurements required for the determination of the isotopic composition of uranium and thorium because of the minimal corrections needed for alpha spectral interferences. ?? 1984.
Additional Publication Details
Radioisotope dilution analyses of geological samples using 236U and 229Th
Nuclear Instruments and Methods In Physics Research