Document Detail

Noble gas excess air applied to distinguish groundwater recharge conditions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17410789     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The application of geochemical tracers in groundwater studies can provide valuable insights into the rates and sources of groundwater recharge, residence times, and flow dynamics that are of significant value in the management of this important natural resource. This paper demonstrates the application of noble gas excess air to distinguish groundwater bodies with different recharge histories in a layered sandstone aquifer system in the east of England. The sampled groundwaters are all supersaturated with respect to neon, indicating the presence of excess air. The lowest excess air concentrations occur where the aquifer is unconfined (deltaNe, the proportion of neon in excess of saturation, = 12-26%) and recharge occurs directly to the outcrop. Groundwater in the confined part of the aquifer can be divided into two hydrochemical types based upon the dissolved ion chemistry: Type 1 groundwaters contain more excess air (deltaNe = 115-120%) than Type 2(deltaNe = 22-62%). The difference in excess air concentrations confirms that groundwater enters the confined aquifer along two discrete pathways. Furthermore, excess neon concentrations predicted from the magnitude of annual water table fluctuation observed in the different recharge areas are in good agreement with those measured in the corresponding groundwaters. We therefore recommend that excess air may be usefully employed as a direct indicator of the volume of long-term net annual groundwater recharge.
Richard G S Ingram; Kevin M Hiscock; Paul F Dennis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental science & technology     Volume:  41     ISSN:  0013-936X     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Sci. Technol.     Publication Date:  2007 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-06     Completed Date:  2007-07-27     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213155     Medline TA:  Environ Sci Technol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1949-55     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Air / analysis*
Fresh Water / chemistry*
Geological Phenomena
Mass Spectrometry
Models, Theoretical
Noble Gases / chemistry*
Water Movements*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Noble Gases

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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