Dissolved helium, inert gases, radium and radon in groundwaters from the Altnabreac Research Site

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Authors:Andrews, J. N.; Kay, R. L. F.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Univ. Bath, Sch. Chem., Bath, United Kingdom
Br. Geol. Surv., Hydrogeol. Res. Group, United Kingdom
Source:No.85-2, 56p. Availability: Br. Geol. Surv., Keyworth, United Kingdom. ISBN: 0-85272-111-0
Publication Date:1985
Note:In English. 30 refs.
Summary:A groundwater geochemistry study has been carried out on the research site in the Altnabreac area of Caithness, Scotland, as part of the UK research program to investigate the feasibility of disposal of high-level radioactive wastes into crystalline rocks. The principal aim of the study described in this report was to construct a groundwater flow model for a section which had been sampled at varying points and depths down to 300m. Such a model provides a means of predicting the hydrological conditions which prevail at these levels of depth. This information is important in constraining the possible transit times for radionuclides migrating to the biosphere. Measurements of the inert gases (neon, argon, krypton and xenon) dissolved in groundwaters are valuable in monitoring the temperatures of the groundwaters when they entered the saturated zone at recharge; this information is used to infer approximate groundwater ages from correlation with palaeoclimatic data. The lightest inert gas, helium, is generated within the subsurface by natural radioactive decay processes and therefore accumulates over time in the groundwater. Helium abundance data in groundwater samples, together with information on the natural distribution of uranium and thorium in the rock, therefore yield semi-quantitative estimates of the groundwater residence time.—Modified report abstract.
Subjects:Alkaline earth metals; Crystalline rocks; Engineering geology; Geochemistry; Ground water; Helium; Isotopes; Metals; Migration of elements; Models; Noble gases; Radioactive isotopes; Radioactive waste; Radium; Radon; Surveys; Waste disposal; Caithness Scotland; Europe; Great Britain; Highland region Scotland; Scotland; United Kingdom; Western Europe; Altnabreac Research Site
Record ID:1986054169
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute.
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