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Absolute Measurement of Thoron in Surface Waters

Smith Air Consulting, London, ON N5X 3A1, Canada
UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3083;
Received: 26 September 2020 / Revised: 27 October 2020 / Accepted: 31 October 2020 / Published: 3 November 2020
Thoron (radon-220, 220Rn, half-life 55.6 s) is a useful aqueous tracer suitable for applications such as locating and measuring groundwater discharge in surface waters (including the coastal ocean) and detecting radium-224 (224Ra) bearing scale inside water pipes. Generally, such applications require only relative thoron measurements in the water. However, if a thoron-in-water quantification in absolute numbers is desired the knowledge of the thoron sensitivity of the measurement system is obligatory. Absolute readings would, e.g., give a measure of the 224Ra activity in the sediment, supporting the thoron, or of the quantity of 224Ra in the pipe scale. Since there is no standardised source of thoron-in-water (such as a NIST standard), there is no way to calibrate a thoron-in-water measurement system, in the usual sense. Up until now, therefore, it has not been possible to make absolute measurements of thoron in water. This paper presents a novel method of assessing the sensitivity of a mobile thoron-in-water measurement system. The paper analyses such systems and describes a straightforward experimental approach to obtain all setup-specific values of critical parameters that will allow a reasonably precise determination of the system thoron sensitivity. The method is simple enough that a thoron sensitivity calibration can be performed on site with no additional equipment. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental tracer; thoron; 220Rn; radon; 222Rn; groundwater discharge environmental tracer; thoron; 220Rn; radon; 222Rn; groundwater discharge
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lane-Smith, D.; Schubert, M. Absolute Measurement of Thoron in Surface Waters. Water 2020, 12, 3083.

AMA Style

Lane-Smith D, Schubert M. Absolute Measurement of Thoron in Surface Waters. Water. 2020; 12(11):3083.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lane-Smith, Derek, and Michael Schubert. 2020. "Absolute Measurement of Thoron in Surface Waters" Water 12, no. 11: 3083.

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