Noble gas analysis in conventional and unconventional aquatic environments - a plea for simplicity

Seminar by Prof. Rolf Kipfer from Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag)

16 July 2019
KST 10:00 – 11:00

The Seminar is being held in Room 1010 (Jasmin) – Integrated mechanical engineering building. Click here for the campus map.

Atmospheric noble gases enter aquatic systems by gas / water partitioning. Therefore, aquatic noble gas concentrations in waters reflect the physical conditions prevailing during gas exchange.

 Consequently, applications of dissolved atmospheric noble gases are constrained to the analysis of gas partitioning processes between phases, but also allow the reconstruction of past environmental / climate conditions. 
These concepts in concert with the mechanistic understanding of the gas / water partitioning in porous media allow e.g. to reconstruct ground water recharge in Northern America in response to the last glaciation [1, 2].

 Most recently novel experimental methods enable to analyse the noble gas concentrations in minute amounts of water (< 1 mg) [3, 4] and to determine (noble) gas concentrations in various terrestrial fluids online under field conditions [5, 6].
The first method allows to retrieve past environmental information from noble gases in fluid inclusions in speleothems whereas the second method yields information on the possible effect of CH4formation on the mobilization on As in ground waters of Vietnam.

 The presentation aims to summarize and to comment on our recent developments on the application of atmospheric noble gases to study aquatic environments.