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Defining groundwater age: Chapter 3

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Abstract

This book investigates applications of selected chemical and isotopic substances that can be used to recognize and interpret age information pertaining to ‘old’ groundwater (defined as water that was recharged on a timescale from approximately 1000 to more than 1 000 000 a). However, as discussed below, only estimates of the ‘age’ of water extracted from wells can be inferred. These groundwater age estimates are interpreted from measured concentrations of chemical and isotopic substances in the groundwater. Even then, there are many complicating factors, as discussed in this book. In spite of these limitations, much can be learned about the physics of groundwater flow and about the temporal aspects of groundwater systems from age interpretations of measured concentrations of environmental tracers in groundwater systems. This chapter puts the concept of ‘age’ into context, including its meaning and interpretation, and attempts to provide a unifying usage for the rest of the book.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Title:
Defining groundwater age: Chapter 3
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
International Atomic Energy Agency
Publisher location:
Vienna, Austria
Contributing office(s):
National Research Program - Eastern Branch
Description:
12 p.
Larger Work Type:
Book
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Isotope Methods for Dating Old Groundwater
First page:
21
Last page:
32