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Sampling in glass bottles or plastic flasks (0.1-3.0 litres of water)
No purity or water chemistry demand is required
Measurement of helium isotopes (3He and 4He) with a VG5400 noble gas mass spectrometer (from 2017 with a Helix SFT)
4He isotope dilution
Detection limit: 0.02 TU (or even better)
Turnover time: 4 months
Animal tissue, plant cellulose, other materials can be also used for 3H analysis

Tritium, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen, is a perfect conservative tracer of water cycle in the environment. In hydrology, hydrogeology, limnology, and ocean research, knowledge of tritium concentration is, a powerful tool for groundwater age dating and for the estimation of circulation patterns and aquifer vulnerabilities. In our tritium measurement, water samples of 0.5-3.0litres (or even less) are generally used for the 3He ingrowth method. The main principle of this method is that tritium decays to 3He. The concentration of tritium is calculated from tritiogenic3He that has been generated from a certain amount of water and is finally determined using a helium mass spectrometer. This method is the most sensitive one that can be used to detect low-level tritium concentrations of environmental waters. In contrast to other noble gas mass spectrometric laboratories, we have developed and applied a novel helium isotope dilution technique, which has significantly improved the accuracy of our tritium measurements.

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