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Keywords:

  • SF6;
  • SF5CF3;
  • halon;
  • tracers;
  • groundwater

A rapid headspace method for the simultaneous laboratory determination of intentionally introduced hydrologic tracers, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), trifluoromethyl sulfur pentafluoride (SF5CF3), Halon 1211 (CF2ClBr), and other halocarbons in water and gases is described. The high sensitivity of the procedure allows for introduction of minimal tracer mass (a few grams) into hydrologic systems with a large dynamic range of analytical detection (dilutions to 1:108). Analysis times by gas chromatography with electron capture detector are less than 1 min for SF6; about 2 min for SF6 and SF5CF3; and 4 min for SF6, SF5CF3, and Halon 1211. Many samples can be rapidly collected, preserved in stoppered septum bottles, and analyzed at a later time in the laboratory. Examples are provided showing the effectiveness of the gas tracer test studies in varied hydrogeological settings.