A method is described for the determination of U234/U238 activity ratios for uranium present in natural waters. The uranium is coprecipitated from solution with aluminum phosphate, extracted into ethyl acetate, further purified by ion exchange, and finally electroplated on a titanium disc for counting. The individual isotopes are determined by measurement of the alpha-particle energy spectrum using a high resolution low-background alpha spectrometer. Overall chemical recovery of about 90 percent and a counting efficiency of 25 percent allow analyses of water samples containing as little as 0.10 ?g/l of uranium. The accuracy of the method is limited, on most samples, primarily by counting statistics.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Isotopic analysis of uranium in natural waters by alpha spectrometry