The University of Arizona

Radiocarbon Dating of Groundwater in Granite Fractures in Abukuma Province, Northeast Japan

H A Takahashi, T Nakamura, H Tsukamoto, K Kazahaya, H Handa, A Hirota


Knowledge of the groundwater age is indispensable for understanding groundwater flow in crystalline rocks. The present study is the first to discuss the radiocarbon ages of groundwater in Abukuma granite, Fukushima Prefecture, northeast Japan. The vertical profiles of 14C dates and d13C are obtained from 3 boreholes (depths of 140, 230, and 306 m). Chemical and carbon isotopic compositions suggest that dead-carbon contamination of groundwater occurred during groundwater storage in the fractures. 14C concentration was corrected by using isotopic mass balance in which dead-carbon contamination of the groundwater was considered. The 14C dates ranged from modern to ~16 ka. The relationship between tritium and 14C data in 1 borehole suggests the simultaneous inflow of shallow groundwater to deeper levels occur for the depths between 60 and 100 m. The vertical profiles of 14C dates indicate a relatively constant age of 10–16 ka for groundwater deeper than 100 m, which may have been influenced by rapid sea-level changes after the glacial period.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16221


groundwater; radiocarbon date; granite; fracture

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