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Tritium and Water Dating Laboratory


The Water Dating Lab at GNS has 55 years of experience in high-sensitivity tritium analysis. Our innovative, cutting edge techniques give by a large margin the highest accuracy and precision in tritium analysis [1].

tritium lab image

This high tritium precision allows for new understanding of processes in groundwater, oceans, and glaciers, such as

  • Land use impact on groundwater quality [2]
  • Water dynamics in catchments [3, 4, 5]
  • Groundwater recharge and rate of geochemical processes [6, 7]
  • Validation of groundwater flow models [8]
  • Ice core dating [9, 10]
  • Ocean circulation [11]

What we do

  • Measurement of Tritium (3H) for dating water. We are the most accurate tritium lab in the world (detection limit of 0.02 TU).
  • Measurement of CFCs and SF6 for dating water.
  • Identifying sources and flow paths of groundwaters using the stable and radioisotopes 2H, 3H, 18O, 13C, 14C, 15N, Ar, N2.
  • Identify land use impacts on groundwater resources using isotopic and chemistry signature of the water.
  • Indicate nitrogen sources using 15N ratios
  • detecting radon to measure groundwater-surface water interaction

Our tracer data are used to understand and manage groundwater resources, and to understand how groundwater dynamics change over time.

We welcome collaborative research and the opportunity to contribute or assist in research design.
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