Advances in Earth Science ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 610-618. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2023.012

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Novel Method Based Radiogenic 32P for Determining Groundwater Age from 50 to 1000 Years

Xumei MAO( ), Xixi ZHA   

  1. School of Environment, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China
  • Received:2022-11-30 Revised:2023-01-15 Online:2023-06-10 Published:2023-06-07
  • About author:MAO Xumei (1977-), male, Suizhou City, Hubei Province, Associate professor. Research area includes isotope hydrogeology. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Study on the 14C age correction of CO2 rich hot spring and its indication of the regeneration capacity of deep geothermal water in Guangdong”(41440027)

Xumei MAO, Xixi ZHA. Novel Method Based Radiogenic 32P for Determining Groundwater Age from 50 to 1000 Years[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2023, 38(6): 610-618.

Groundwater age is an important and widely used hydrogeological parameter. The environmental isotope method is the most reliable method of groundwater dating. Different environmental isotopic tracers have different dating ranges, and the determination of groundwater age from to 50~1 000 a is the “short board” of dating groundwater. The period of 50~1 000 a is a period of frequent human activity. Therefore, dating groundwater that is 50~1 000 years old is scientifically significant. Silicon-32 (32Si) can be used to determine the age of 50~1 000 a groundwater, but application of 32Si dating is hindered by the complex and time-consuming pretreatment. The decay of 32Si to radiogenic 32P, 32Si, and 32P will reach a radioactive balance within three months and achieve consistent radioactive activity. 32Si and 32P in 50~1 000 a groundwater have been in radioactive equilibrium, so direct enrichment of 32P in groundwater can be used for age determination of 50~1 000 a groundwater. Magnesium hydroxide co-precipitation is used for the enrichment of 32P in groundwater. This method is convenient and rapid. Therefore, 32P is expected to solve the dating deficiency of 50~1 000 a groundwater. The results of 32P dating of groundwater in the Jianghan Plain were roughly consistent with those of 32Si. Therefore, radiogenic 32P groundwater dating is feasible, convenient, and accurate.

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