The objective of the Short Course on Isotope Hydrology is to develop a conceptual understanding of principles of isotope hydrology, its systematics, and its application to the study of surficial and subsurface waters, water-rock-gas interaction, water resources management, and human impact on water quality.

The course deals with the application of environmental isotopes to trace the origin of water, natural and man-made contaminants, and attenuation processes that may occur in the aquifers. The emphasis is on developing underlying theory and skills in working with practical isotope systems.

The course is organized in “fundamental” and “applicative” sessions. Fundamental seminars are aimed at developing the underlying theory for each given isotopic systematics. Applicative seminars present case studies successfully investigated by means of integrated geochemical and multi-isotope techniques.

The emphasis is on:

  • the mass spectrometry techniques used to measure isotopic compositions in relevant geological matrices
  • how isotopic techniques can be proficiently used to deliver fundamental information for the investigation of natural and man-affected water systems
  • effectiveness and limits of isotope techniques in environmental studies/applications

A tour of the isotopic laboratories of IGG-CNR is programmed for interested participants.

Topics include:

  • Introductive notions of geochemistry of natural waters
  • Sampling procedures of chemical and isotopic parameters
  • Main stable and radioactive isotopes used in hydrology
  • Isotopic fractionation in natural processes
  • Radioactive decay
  • Natural and man-made isotopes
  • Isotopic variations in precipitation, surface water and groundwater
  • Recharge zones and groundwater circulation paths
  • Contaminant origin and water quality
  • Isotopic effects associated with gas-water-rock interactions
  • Interaction of hydrologic - hydrothermal - geothermal resources
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