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On the conversion of tritium units to mass fractions for hydrologic applications

Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies

By:
, , , , and
DOI: 10.1080/10256016.2013.766610

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Abstract

We develop a general equation for converting laboratory-reported tritium levels, expressed either as concentrations (tritium isotope number fractions) or mass-based specific activities, to mass fractions in aqueous systems. Assuming that all tritium is in the form of monotritiated water simplifies the derivation and is shown to be reasonable for most environmental settings encountered in practice. The general equation is nonlinear. For tritium concentrations c less than 4.5×1012 tritium units (TU) - i.e. specific tritium activities<5.3×1011 Bq kg-1 - the mass fraction w of tritiated water is approximated to within 1 part per million by w ≈ c×2.22293×10-18, i.e. the conversion is linear for all practical purposes. Terrestrial abundances serve as a proxy for non-tritium isotopes in the absence of sample-specific data. Variation in the relative abundances of non-tritium isotopes in the terrestrial hydrosphere produces a minimum range for the mantissa of the conversion factor of [2.22287; 2.22300].

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
On the conversion of tritium units to mass fractions for hydrologic applications
Series title:
Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies
DOI:
10.1080/10256016.2013.766610
Volume
49
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s):
Branch of Regional Research-Western Region
Description:
7 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies
First page:
250
Last page:
256
Number of Pages:
7