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Remaining uncertainties in the use of Rn-222 as a quantitative tracer of submarine groundwater discharge

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Abstract

Research performed in many locations over the past decade has shown that radon is an effective tracer for quantifying submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). The technique works because both fresh and saline groundwaters acquire radon from the subterranean environment and display activities that are typically orders of magnitude greater than those found in coastal seawaters. However, some uncertainties and unanswered problems remain. We focus here on three components of the mass balance, each of which has some unresolved issues: (1) End-member radon - what to do if groundwater Rn measurements are highly variable? (2) Atmospheric evasion -do the standard gas exchange equations work under high-energy coastal mixing scenarios? And (3) "mixing" losses - are there other significant radon losses (e.g. recharge of coastal waters into the aquifer) besides those attributed to mixing with lower-activity waters offshore? We address these issues using data sets collected from several different types of coastal environment. Copyright ?? 2007 IAHS Press.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Title:
Remaining uncertainties in the use of Rn-222 as a quantitative tracer of submarine groundwater discharge
ISBN:
9781901502046
Issue:
312
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Title:
IAHS-AISH Publication
First page:
109
Last page:
118
Conference Title:
International Symposium: A New Focus on Groundwater - Seawater Interactions - 24th General Assembly of the In
Conference Location:
Perugia
Conference Date:
2 July 2007 through 13 July 2007