Special Issue "Radioactive Isotopes in Hydrosphere"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology and Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Tadeusz A. Przylibski
Website
Guest Editor
Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geoengineering, Mining and Geology, Head of the Laboratory of Earth Sciences and Mineral Engineering
Interests: groundwater, isotopes; radioactivity; geology; geochemistry; mineralogy; petrology; hydrogeology; meteorites; cosmochemistry
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue of Water, “Radioactive Isotopes in Hydrosphere”, welcomes submissions from the authors of publications discussing the results of recent research into the occurrence of natural radioactive isotopes in the Earth’s hydrosphere. Findings concerning the hydrogeochemistry of radioactive isotopes are of particular importance when it comes to defining the possibilities of exploiting water resources. The presence of radioactive isotopes may lead to limiting or even preventing the use of water for human consumption. On the other hand, the occurrence of the same isotopes, e.g., 222Rn, enables us to use such waters as a medicinal agent in therapeutic treatments in many health resorts in Europe and in other continents. The presence of natural radioactive isotopes in the hydrosphere is related to the interaction of this sphere of the Earth with other geospheres—mainly the lithosphere, but also the atmosphere. Specifying the activity concentrations of particular radioactive isotopes in groundwater or surface water environments enables insight into numerous processes occurring in different geospheres of the Earth. At the same time, knowledge of the amount of natural radioactive isotopes dissolved in waters makes it possible to draw conclusions about the water’s origin—the mixing of its various components. Natural radioactive isotopes are perfect tracers of a variety of processes involving the mixing of groundwaters and surface waters as well as waters flowing in different circulation systems. The presence of natural radioactive isotopes and changes in their content makes it possible to differentiate precipitation waters of contemporary infiltration from paleoinfiltration waters, metamorphic waters, juvenile waters, or synsedimentation or relic waters. Isotopic tracers also enable us to define the extent to which waters are susceptible to pollution. They are also used as tracers of dynamic processes occurring in the lithosphere, such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. They also provide a possibility of distinguishing sources of water recharge to various surface and underground reservoirs. Finally, they enable modeling processes occurring throughout the hydrological cycle of the planet. All these issues, seen through the prism of gaining knowledge of the earthly hydrosphere itself and a possibility of characterizing various processes and phenomena occurring in the hydrosphere and its interactions with other geospheres, especially the lithosphere and the atmosphere, but also the biosphere, are of paramount importance to different uses of our planet’s water resources. All these aspects of the occurrence of natural radioactive isotopes in the hydrosphere are the subject of a current scientific debate, making “Radioactive Isotopes in Hydrosphere”, the Special Issue of Water journal, a timely contribution to the field.

Prof. Tadeusz A. Przylibski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • groundwater
  • surface water
  • drinking water
  • mineral water
  • brine
  • thermal water
  • curative water
  • medicinal water
  • radioactive isotope
  • radioactive tracer
  • natural radioactivity
  • hydrogeochemistry of radioactive isotopes
  • radon
  • radium
  • uranium
  • tritium

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
222Rn Concentration in Groundwaters Circulating in Granitoid Massifs of Poland
Water 2020, 12(3), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030748 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The authors’ research has shown that the maximum values of 222Rn activity concentration in all granitoid massifs of Poland exceed 100 Bq·L−1, i.e. the value allowed for waters intended for human consumption. Such waters should be de-radoned prior to being [...] Read more.
The authors’ research has shown that the maximum values of 222Rn activity concentration in all granitoid massifs of Poland exceed 100 Bq·L−1, i.e. the value allowed for waters intended for human consumption. Such waters should be de-radoned prior to being distributed through the water supply networks. Even more common in these areas is the occurrence of potentially medicinal radon waters, i.e. waters characterized, in accordance with Polish law, by radon activity concentration of at least 74 Bq·L−1. Such waters may be used for balneotherapeutic treatments. For the Karkonosze, Strzegom-Sobótka, Kłodzko-Złoty Stok and Kudowa massifs, the range of hydrogeochemical background of 222Rn exceeds both 74 and 100 Bq·L−1. This indicates common occurrence in these areas of both potentially medicinal radon waters and waters which require de-radoning before being supplied for human consumption. More than 50% of groundwaters from the Karkonosze granite area contain over 100 Bq·L−1 of 222Rn. This means that these waters are mostly radon and high-radon waters. The remaining massifs contain predominantly low-radon waters and radon-poor waters. The 222Rn concentrations obtained by the authors are comparable to values measured in groundwaters in other granitoid massifs in the world, creating both problems and new application possibilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactive Isotopes in Hydrosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Effective Dose from Radioactive Isotopes Contained in Mineral Waters Received by Patients During Hydrotherapy Treatments
Water 2020, 12(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010097 - 27 Dec 2019
Abstract
Hydrotherapy is a natural treatment and health protection method. Treatments using natural mineral water are gaining popularity as an alternative to pharmacotherapy or as additional support to pharmacotherapy in many types of diseases. The aim of the study was to determine the effective [...] Read more.
Hydrotherapy is a natural treatment and health protection method. Treatments using natural mineral water are gaining popularity as an alternative to pharmacotherapy or as additional support to pharmacotherapy in many types of diseases. The aim of the study was to determine the effective dose obtained as a result of baths and inhalations using popular mineral water samples. A total of 18 commercially available water samples used in hydrotherapy were tested for their radioactive isotope content. The following isotopes were found: 40K, 208Tl, 212Bi, 212Pb, 214Bi, 214Pb, 226Ra, 228Ac, 234Th. Effective doses received by patients during inhalation and bathing using the tested mineral water samples were determined. The collected sample activity was measured using gamma spectrometry. The effective doses received by patients from a series of inhalation treatments ranged from 170.4 to 22.9 µSv. Infants receive the highest effective dose as a result of inhalation of mineral water. The doses received by patients as a result of bathing in the studied mineral water samples were in the range of from 0.04 to 1.1 µSv and were comparable with doses from ordinary baths in tap water (0.06 µSv). The determined doses are very low; thus, they are unlikely to cause noticeable biological effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactive Isotopes in Hydrosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
Geochemical Behavior of Uranium and Radon in Groundwater of Jurassic Granite Area, Icheon, Middle Korea
Water 2019, 11(6), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061278 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Uranium concentrations (a total of 82 samples) in groundwater in Icheon, middle Korea, showed a wide range from 0.02 to 1640 μg/L with a mean of 56.77 μg/L, a median of 3.03 μg/L, and a standard deviation of 228.63 μg/L. Most groundwater samples [...] Read more.
Uranium concentrations (a total of 82 samples) in groundwater in Icheon, middle Korea, showed a wide range from 0.02 to 1640 μg/L with a mean of 56.77 μg/L, a median of 3.03 μg/L, and a standard deviation of 228.63 μg/L. Most groundwater samples had quite low concentrations: 32.9% were below 1 μg/L, while 15.9% exceeded 30 μg/L, the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Radon concentrations also ranged widely from 1.48 to 865.8 Bq/L. Although the standard deviation of radon was large (151.8 Bq/L), the mean was 211.29 Bq/L and the median was 176.86 Bq/L. Overall, 64.6% of the samples exceeded the alternative maximum contaminant level (AMCL) of the US EPA (148 Bq/L). According to statistical analyses, there was no close correlations between uranium and radon, but there were correlations between uranium and redox potential (Eh) (−0.54), dissolved oxygen (DO) (−0.50), HCO3 (0.45), Sr (0.65), and SiO2 (−0.44). Radon showed independent behavior with respect to most components in groundwater. Uranium concentrations in groundwater increased with increasing water–rock interactions. Anomalously high uranium and radon concentrations in groundwater are preferentially localized in granite areas and spatial distributions are remarkably heterogeneous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactive Isotopes in Hydrosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Framework for the Management and Radiological Protection of Groundwater Resources: The Implementation of a Portuguese Action Plan for Radon in Drinking Water and Impacts on Human Health
Water 2019, 11(4), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040760 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
In general, this study was developed to assess the radon contamination in groundwater intended for human consumption, to raise awareness among policy-makers to implement a legal framework for drinking water management and the radiological protection of groundwater resources. Thus, we analyzed with parallel [...] Read more.
In general, this study was developed to assess the radon contamination in groundwater intended for human consumption, to raise awareness among policy-makers to implement a legal framework for drinking water management and the radiological protection of groundwater resources. Thus, we analyzed with parallel coordinate visualization (PCV) plots what features may influence the water–rock interaction and promote high-radon concentrations in water intended for human consumption. The results show that in granitic areas composed by biotite granites (Group V), although there is a higher radon production in the rocks, the radon transfer to groundwater was not effective, mainly due to the physical and chemical properties of the water. The main conclusions show that in all springs sampled (n = 69) for the entire study area, there are only four springs that must have an immediate intervention, and 22 of them are above the limit imposed by the Portuguese legislation. These results are intended to promote a Portuguese Action Plan for Radon that can be framed in the guidelines on the management and protection of groundwater resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactive Isotopes in Hydrosphere)
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