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.
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