STP963: Sampling Interaquifer Connector Wells for Polonium-210: Implications for Gross-Alpha Analysis

    Oural, CR
    Research associate, Department of Physics, professor of geology, and associate professor of physics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

    Upchurch, SB
    Research associate, Department of Physics, professor of geology, and associate professor of physics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

    Ralph Brooker, H
    Research associate, Department of Physics, professor of geology, and associate professor of physics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

    Pages: 14    Published: Jan 1988


    Abstract

    Ground water in peninsular Florida commonly has gross-alpha radioactivity in excess of 15 pCi/L. This activity, which is unsupported by radium, results from 210Po. Comparison of polonium with gross-alpha activity in samples collected and preserved by present methods indicates that gross-alpha analyses are inconsistent and frequently underestimate total alpha activity.

    In interaquifer recharge wells, polonium decreases with depth owing to sorption and mixing with host water. Therefore, sampling depth affects polonium and gross-alpha activity determination. 210Po analysis is sensitive to sample collection, preservation, and preparation techniques. With few exceptions, sampler selection has little impact on polonium recovery. Bailers and air-lift samplers give unreliable polonium recovery. Sample preparation methods are critical to polonium recovery. Filtration and sample fixation must be in the field.

    Keywords:

    uranium daughters, radium, polonium, recharge wells, ground-water samplers, ground-water chemistry, Florida, phosphate mining


    Paper ID: STP44867S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP44867S


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