Presentation: Principals of Isotopic Fingerprinting and Applications to Groundwater Investigations

May 24, 2019 Rebecca Kreuzer

Presented at the World of Coal Ash 2019 Conference—provides an overview of isotope geochemistry and discusses the applications of several key isotope systems

 

Isotope geochemistry has emerged as a formidable geochemical tool in groundwater investigations for coal combustion residuals (CCR). Specifically, isotopic “fingerprinting” of dissolved metals such as boron (δ11B), lithium (δ7Li) and strontium (87Sr/86Sr), or the water molecules themselves (i.e., δ2H, δ18O or tritium), serves as a proxy for common contaminants of concern and provides powerful insights into several important topics including (1) identification of alternate sources of contamination, (2) plume delineation (3) contaminant migration over time, (4) site assessment, (5) attenuation predications, and (6) seepage rates.
This paper provides an overview of isotope geochemistry and discusses the applications of several key isotope systems to aid in meeting a variety of groundwater investigation, monitoring or remedial objectives.

About the Author

Rebecca Kreuzer

Dr. Rebecca Kreuzer is a geochemist in our Environmental Services team. Based in Rochester, NY she offers unique expertise in noble gas systematics (a powerful geochemical tool that is better able to fingerprint gas sources and trace fluid migration pathways) with traditional geochemical approaches, Her goal? Safeguarding water quality by supporting safe extraction of natural resources and contributing to the scientific community.

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