Montag, 03. Juni 2013, 16:30 - 18:00 iCal

Isotopes in hydrology and climate studies: Some new twists on old concepts

Aktuelle Themen in den Umweltgeowissenschaften II

Fakultät für Geowissenschaften, Geographie und Astronomie, Eberhard Clar-Saal (2B 204)
Althanstrasse 14, UZA 2, 1090 Wien

Seminar, Workshop, Kurs

Isotope hydrology is the branch of hydrology that uses stable and radioactive isotopes of water and its dissolved constituents to trace water cycle processes, including the pathway of rainfall and snowmelt to and hydraulic interactions between aquifers, lakes and rivers. The development of the field of isotope hydrology is relatively recent and coincides approximately with the development of hydrometric approaches to quantify processes governing surface and groundwater flow. At about the same time as hydrology was becoming a quantitative science in the early 1930s, isotopes stable isotope of oxygen and hydrogen were discovered and their potential in tracing and accounting for water cycle processes was recognized. Early isotope findings were fully explored in hydrology starting in the late 1940s when radioisotopes of carbon and hydrogen were also discovered. The use of stable and radioactive isotopes has ever since provided unmatched insights into both atmospheric and terrestrial elements of the water cycle. In this presentation, I will review some of the historical developments and the current state of understanding related isotope applications in hydrology and climate studies, focusing on isotopes in precipitation and on age dating of groundwater by carbon-14 and noble gases.


Dr. Pradeep Aggarwal, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna


Vesna Micic Batka
Department of Environmental Geosciences
Environmental Geosciences Group