AuthorTrotman, Kenneth Neil.
Nuclear weapons -- Testing -- Environmental aspects -- New Mexico -- Socorro Region.
Soils -- Chlorine content.
Committee ChairDavis, Stanley N.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThermonuclear bomb testing in the 1950's and 1960's produced a significant amount of chlorine-36 (C1-36). This anthropogenic C1-36 pulse has been proposed as a tool in dating ground water and as an environmental tracer. The feasibility of bomb C1-36 as a hydrologic tool in the unsaturated zone was studied. Soil samples were collected from a vertical auger hole drilled to 5 m near Socorro, New Mexico. A distinct C1-36 pulse was located at 1.125 m depth indicating a mean vertical moisture velocity of 4.5 cm/yr. The calculated mean seepage rate of 2.8 mm/yr indicates only 1.2% of the annual rainfall percolates to 1 meter. Below 2 m depth the C1-36/C1 ratio is relatively constant, averaging 717 x 10⁻¹⁵ and represents the prebomb production rate of subsurface and cosmogenic C1-36. Total bomb C1-36 fallout in the soil profile was 7.4 x 10¹¹ C1-36 atoms/m². The author feels C1-36 will be a useful tool in recharge studies of the unsaturated zone.
Degree ProgramHydrology and Water Resources