A Porous Flow Model for Steady State Transport of Radium in Groundwater

M. R. Davidson*, B. L. Dickson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)


    The quasi‐steady variation of uranium and radium isotopes from the decay of 238U, 235U, and 232Th has been determined along an idealized, one‐dimensional aquifer which is a distributed source of activity and from which the transfer of radionuclides to solution occurs by alpha recoil and chemical exchange. The model includes the effects of dispersive flow and retardation by adsorption. The importance of these effects on the variation of U and Ra activity ratios along the model aquifer is shown. Predicted limiting activity ratios (for large flow times) of 226Ra/223Ra, 224Ra/228Ra, and 226Ra/228Ra are 21.4, 1.5, and (∼1.7–2.0) (U/Th)s, respectively (where (U/Th)s is the activity ratio 238U/232Th in the aquifer rocks), although in many cases, an aquifer may not be long enough for the ratios involving 226Ra to achieve their limiting values.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-44
    Number of pages11
    JournalWater Resources Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1986


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