Unsaturated zone tritium and chlorine 36 profiles from southern Australia: Their use as tracers of soil water movement

P. G. Cook, I. D. Jolly, F. W. Leaney, G. R. Walker, G. L. Allan, L. K. Fifield, G. B. Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we present seven unsaturated zone profiles of 36Cl and three 3H profiles from southern Australia. All profiles show single peaks corresponding to high radionuclide fallout from nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s. The profiles are used to estimate rates of water movement leading to recharge of the groundwater. Among these profiles is the first profile on which high concentrations of 36Cl have been found below a 2‐m depth. In this profile, 3H and 36Cl peaks coincide. In six of the seven profiles, total 36Cl fallout was found to be between 1.2 and 2.4 × 1012 atoms m−2, and is of similar magnitude to that found at similar latitudes in the northern hemisphere. Comparisons of soil water fluxes estimated with 3H, 36Cl, and chloride are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1709-1719
Number of pages11
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

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