Tracing Technique in Geohydrology


Werner Kass


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January 1999


Hydrological tracing techniques use tracers to follow flowing water. Tracing techniques address a plenitude of scientific disciplines: geology, hydrology, chemistry, physics, water management, civil engineering, biology, limnology. Originally, tracing experiments were used to find underground waterways. The most important group of naturally occurring tracers are the natural chemical constituents of the water, as well as its isotope content. Hydrological tracing techniques are used in almost all water bodies. Quantitative determinations as to the flow of surface or groundwater demand the highest stability for the tracers during the tests. In many cases, artificial and natural tracers allow an exact determination of the flow volumes. Most likely the most important application is in the discharge measurement of surface waters through deliberate marking with a tracer, followed by an analysation of the resulting concentration curve at a site, where an even distribution of the tracer over the entire cross-section of the water body is attained.


Geology, Hydrology, Chemistry, Geohydrology

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