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Trees as indicators of subterranean water flow from a retired radioactive waste disposal site


Health Physics 52(2): 201-206
Trees as indicators of subterranean water flow from a retired radioactive waste disposal site
Tree sampling helped locate a subterranean flow of tritiated water from a low-level radioactive waste disposal site that had not been detected by well water monitoring alone. Deciduous trees growing in a natural forest on the hillsides downslope from the site were sampled for the presence of tritiated water in sap of maple trees and in leaf water extracted from oak and hickory trees. Elevated concentrations of 3H were detected in the leaf water extracted from several trees located 50 m downslope from the western boundary of the fenced exclusion zone. A 3-m-deep well drilled near these trees indicated that the source of tritiated water was a narrow zone of subterranean flow.


Accession: 006839040

PMID: 3818287

DOI: 10.1097/00004032-198702000-00008



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