We present details of a newly designed syringe pump apparatus for the retrieval and temporal analysis of helium (SPARTAH). The device is composed of a commercially available syringe pump connected to coils of Cu tubing, which interface the syringe and the groundwater or geothermal wellhead. Through test deployments at geothermal wells in Iceland and California, we show that well fluids are drawn smoothly, accurately, and continuously into the Cu tubing and can be time-stamped through user-determined operating parameters. In the laboratory, the tubing is sectioned to reveal helium (He) characteristics of the fluids at times and for durations of interest. The device is capable of prolonged deployments, up to 6 months or more, with minimal maintenance. It can be used to produce detailed time series records of He, or any other geochemical parameter, in groundwaters and geothermal fluids. SPARTAH has application in monitoring projects assessing the relationship between external transient events (e.g., earthquakes) and geochemical signals in aqueous fluids. ?? 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
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A new syringe pump apparatus for the retrieval and temporal analysis of helium in groundwaters and geothermal fluids