Novel instruments for in situ continuous Rn-222 measurement in groundwater and the application to river bank infiltration

Gilfedder, B. S., Hofmann, H. and Cartwright, I. (2013) Novel instruments for in situ continuous Rn-222 measurement in groundwater and the application to river bank infiltration. Environmental Science and Technology, 47 2: 993-1000. doi:10.1021/es3034928


Author Gilfedder, B. S.
Hofmann, H.
Cartwright, I.
Title Novel instruments for in situ continuous Rn-222 measurement in groundwater and the application to river bank infiltration
Journal name Environmental Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-936X
1520-5851
Publication date 2013-01-15
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/es3034928
Volume 47
Issue 2
Start page 993
End page 1000
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, DC United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Language eng
Subject 1600 Chemistry
2304 Environmental Chemistry
Abstract There is little known about the short-term dynamics of groundwater-surface water exchange in losing rivers. This is partly due to the paucity of chemical techniques that can autonomously collect high-frequency data in groundwater bores. Here we present two new instruments for continuous in situ 222Rn measurement in bores for quantifying the surface water infiltration rate into an underlying or adjacent aquifer. These instruments are based on 222Rn diffusion through silicone tube membranes, either wrapped around a pole (MonoRad) or strung between two hollow end pieces (OctoRad). They are combined with novel, robust, low-cost Geiger counter 222Rn detectors which are ideal for long-term autonomous measurement. The down-hole instruments have a quantitative response time of about a day during low flow, but this decreases to <12 h during high-flow events. The setup was able to trace river water bank infiltration during moderate to high river flow during two field experiments. Mass-balance calculations using the 222Rn data gave a maximum infiltration rate of 2 m d-1. These instruments offer the first easily constructible system for continuous 222Rn analysis in groundwater, and could be used to trace surface water infiltration in many environments including rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastal settings.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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Created: Thu, 13 Mar 2014, 23:40:55 EST by Ashleigh Paroz on behalf of School of Earth Sciences