Use of chlorofluocarbons to date ground water: a comparison to the tritium method
AuthorSertic (McKay), Kathy Ann
Geological Sciences & Engineering
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The presence of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in ground water indicates the water has been recharged within the last 30-40 years. Therefore, CFCs may be an alternative to tritium for dating ground water. Since atmospheric contamination of samples has been the main operational problem during testing of the CFC method, sampling and analytical techniques designed to reduce the potential for contamination were evaluated. Several problems were encountered with the methodology tested. To evaluate the relationship between CFCs and tritium, ground water samples were collected throughout the Carson River Basin in Western Nevada and analyzed for dichlorodifluoromethane (F-12), trichlorofluoromethane (F-Tl), and tritium. Water with tritium <5 TU (assumed to be older than 40 years) had F-11 concentrations <1.2 pmol/1 and F-12 concentrations <0.7 pmol/1. Water with tritium >10 TU (assumed to be less than 40 years) had F-11 concentrations >2.1 pmol/1 and F-12 concentivations >1.0 pmol/1.
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