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Study of the Effect of Fossil Organic Carbon on 14C in Groundwater from Hvinningdal, Denmark

  • E. Boaretto, L. Thorling, Á. E. Sveinbjörnsdóttir, Y. Yechieli and J. Heinemeier...

Abstract

The carbonate hydrochemistry of groundwater from the Hvinningdal aquifer (Denmark) was studied by radiocarbon (accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)) and δ13C measurements as a preliminary step towards 14C groundwater dating. The 14C concentrations varied between 30 and 100 percent modern carbon (pMC) in apparent contradiction with tritium (3H) data, which in most cases indicate a post-bomb date. The dilution of 14C can be explained as being due to the combined effect of dissolution of old soil carbonate and oxidation of old organic carbon. The last effect proved to be essential. To calculate this correction the dissolved oxygen concentration was used together with the δ13C values. The combined corrections bring the 14C concentrations up to post-bomb levels in better agreement with the 3H data.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

1 AMS 14C Dating Laboratory, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
3 Aarhus Amtskommune, Miljøkontoret, Lyseng Allé, DK-8270 Højbjerg, Denmark
4 Science Institute, Dunhaga 3, IS-107 Reykjavik, Iceland
5 The Geological Survey of Israel, 30 Malkei Israel, IL-95501 Jerusalem, Israel

References

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Dorr, H., Sonntag, C. and Regenberg, W. 1987 Field study on the initial 14C content as a limiting factor in 14C groundwater dating. In Isotope Techniques in Water Resources Development. Vienna, IAEA: 7386.
Mook, W. G. 1980 Carbon-14 in hydrogeological studies. In Fritz, P. and Fontes, J.-C., eds., Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry. Amsterdam, Elsevier: 4974.
Münnich, K. O. 1968 Isotope-Datierung von Grundwasser. Naturwissenschaften 55: 158163.
Pearson, F. J. and Hanshaw, B. B. 1970 Sources of dissolved carbonate species in groundwater and their effects on carbon-14 dating. In Isotope Hydrology, Proceedings of the Vienna Symposium. Vienna, IAEA: 271286.
Thorling, L., Boutrup, S., Hundahl, M. and Søndergaard, V. 1993 Statusrapport 1992 Vandmiljøovervågning af Grundvandet. Árhus Amt, Natur og Miljøe: 109 p. + appendix.
Thorling, L., Boutrup, S., Søndergaard, V., Reiter, C. and Thomsen, R., 1995 Statusrapport 1994 Vandmiljøovervågning af Grundvandet. Århus Amt, Natur og Miljoe: 136 p. + appendix.

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