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J Environ Radioact ; 226: 106354, 2021 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33046265


Tritium, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen, has been used to understand groundwater recharge processes for decades. The current variation of tritium in the atmosphere is largely attributed to stratospheric production and fall out rates as well as global circulation phenomena controlling the hydrological cycle. Global controls on the variability in atmospheric tritium activity are poorly suited to explain local variation and tritium activities in precipitation are often assumed to be uniform over both local and regional catchments and watersheds. This assumption can result in both over and under estimation of modern recharge within an aquifer when using tritium as the recharge proxy. In order to minimize the inherent prediction residuals associated with tritium based recharge investigations, the variability of tritium in precipitation was modelled from 127 spatial precipitation samples taken over a two year period, combined with a 76 precipitation sample group-set taken over a one year period in a single location. Precipitation events were traced backward in time, from the point of collection, using HYSPLIT modelling to ascertain the origins of moisture content as well as the altitudes of moisture origin reached along the particle track. Tritium activities, collected over a one year period in Paarl, range from 0.45 to 4.16 TU and have a mean of 1.59 TU. Spatial storm events in the Western Cape in 2017 and 2018 had a range from 0 to 2.2 and 0.37 to 3.27 TU, respectively, with mean activities of 1.18 (n = 34) and 1.25 TU (n = 32). Both storm events had similar tritium variability (σ = 0.5 n = 35 and 0.48 n = 32). Regional precipitation events had the largest range of tritium activities (0.55-12.2 TU). Although not all tritium activities can be explained by interrogating the water mass origin, this study suggests that approximately 90% of events can be completely or partially attributed to the origin of the water mass. The variability of tritium, both spatially and temporally, was higher than expected, confirming that when uniform tritium inputs are used, the groundwater system would provide inaccurate modern recharge estimates. Higher spatial resolution of tritium variation in precipitation for a particular region will improve our ability to relate tritium activities in groundwater to local precipitation.

Monitoramento de Radiação , Trítio/análise , Água Subterrânea , Hidrologia , África do Sul
Sci Total Environ ; : 143140, 2020 Oct 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33131834


Namaqualand, South Africa, is a global biodiversity hotspot but local populations are affected by challenging economic conditions largely because of poor access to water. In this study groundwater types are characterised and sources of salts and salinisation processes are identified using hydrochemistry and δ18O, δ2H and 87Sr/86Sr data. Analysis of δ18O and δ2H data suggests that evaporation does not play a major role in salinisation of the groundwater. However, major ion chemistry and 87Sr/86Sr ratios indicate that salts present in the groundwater are linked to dry deposition of marine aerosols and ion-exchange reactions in soils in the alluvial aquifer systems. The hydrochemical variability of the groundwater in the basement aquifer system suggests that there are strong local controls linked to weathering processes in individual basement rock types. The region is also notable for the high density of heuweltjies, biophysical features associated with increased nutrient levels, associated with termite activity. Electromagnetic scanning as well as measurement of water-soluble soil electrical conductivity values on and off heuweltjies, show that heuweltjies are saline with salinity increasing with depth. The level of groundwater salinity correlates with the level of heuweltjie salinity. Precipitation records from the last 150 years provide support for the hypothesis that accumulated salts, and in particular, heuweltjie salts are flushed into the groundwater system during sporadic large volume precipitation events. Thus, heuweltjies and hence termite activity, could potentially represent a previously unrecognized contributor to groundwater salinisation across Namaqualand and in other parts of the world.

J Environ Radioact ; 166(Pt 1): 56-66, 2017 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26997585


Tritium, radiocarbon and radiocesium concentrations in water column samples in coastal waters offshore Fukushima and in the western North Pacific Ocean collected in 2011-2012 during the Ka'imikai-o-Kanaloa (KoK) cruise are compared with other published results. The highest levels in surface seawater were observed for 134Cs and 137Cs in seawater samples collected offshore Fukushima (up to 1.1 Bq L-1), which represent an increase by about three orders of magnitude when compared with the pre-Fukushima concentration. Tritium levels were much lower (up to 0.15 Bq L-1), representing an increase by about a factor of 6. The impact on the radiocarbon distribution was measurable, but the observed levels were only by about 9% above the global fallout background. The 137Cs (and similarly 134Cs) inventory in the water column of the investigated western North Pacific region was (2.7 ± 0.4) PBq, while for 3H it was only (0.3 ± 0.2) PBq. Direct releases of highly contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima NPP, as well as dry and wet depositions of these radionuclides over the western North Pacific considerably changed their distribution patterns in seawater. Presently we can distinguish Fukushima labeled waters from global fallout background thanks to short-lived 134Cs. However, in the long-term perspective when 134Cs will decay, new distribution patterns of 3H, 14C and 137Cs in the Pacific Ocean should be established for future oceanographic and climate change studies in the Pacific Ocean.

Radioisótopos de Carbono/análise , Radioisótopos de Césio/análise , Acidente Nuclear de Fukushima , Trítio/análise , Poluentes Radioativos da Água/análise , Oceano Pacífico , Monitoramento de Radiação , Água do Mar/química
J Environ Radioact ; 128: 20-6, 2014 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24246753


Danube water, sediment and various aquatic organisms (snail, mussel, predatory and omnivorous fish) were collected upstream (at a background site) and downstream of the outlet of the warm water channel of Paks Nuclear Power Plant. Gamma emitters, tissue free-water tritium (TFWT) and total organically-bound tritium (T-OBT) measurements were performed. A slight contribution of the power plant to the natural tritium background concentration was measured in water samples from the Danube section downstream of the warm water channel. Sediment samples also contained elevated tritium concentrations, along with a detectable amount of (60)Co. In the case of biota samples, TFWT exhibited only a very slight difference compared to the tritium concentration of the Danube water, however, the OBT was higher than the tritium concentration in the Danube, independent of the origin of the samples. The elevated OBT concentration in the mollusc samples downstream of the warm water channel may be attributed to the excess emission from the nuclear power plant. The whole data set obtained was used for dose rate calculations and will be contributed to the development of the ERICA database.

Exposição Ambiental , Peixes/metabolismo , Água Doce/análise , Sedimentos Geológicos/análise , Moluscos/metabolismo , Poluentes Radioativos da Água/metabolismo , Animais , Radioisótopos de Césio/análise , Radioisótopos de Césio/metabolismo , Radioisótopos de Cobalto/análise , Radioisótopos de Cobalto/metabolismo , Hungria , Centrais Nucleares , Monitoramento de Radiação , Rios/química , Espectrometria gama , Trítio/análise , Trítio/metabolismo
J Environ Radioact ; 102(1): 53-9, 2011 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20933310


Tritium occurs in nature in trace amounts, but its concentration is changing due to natural and artificial sources. Studies focusing on natural tritium have to take into account the effect of artificial sources. Also, the impact of tritium is an important issue in environmental protection, e.g. in connection with the emissions from nuclear power plants. The present work focuses on the rain washout of tritium emitted from the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary. Rainwater collectors were placed around the plant and after a period of precipitation, rainwater was collected and analysed for tritium content. Samples were analysed using low-level liquid scintillation counting, with some also subject to the more accurate (3)He ingrowth method. The results clearly show the trace of the tritium plume emitted from the plant; however, values are only about one order of magnitude higher than environmental background levels. A washout model was devised to estimate the distribution of tritium around the plant. The model gives slightly higher concentrations than those measured in the field, but in general the agreement is satisfactory. The modelled values demonstrate that the effect of the plant on rainwater tritium levels is negligible over a distance of some kilometres.

Centrais Nucleares , Chuva , Trítio/análise , Poluentes Radioativos do Ar/análise , Hungria , Modelos Teóricos , Monitoramento de Radiação/métodos , Contagem de Cintilação