Department Water Resources and Drinking Water

Interpretation of noble gas data

NOBLEGAS, a tool for the interpretation of noble gas concentrations in water by W. Aeschbach-Hertig, F. Peeters, U. Beyerle and R. Kipfer.Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland.

Interpretation of dissolved noble gases in groundwater

Noble gases in groundwater have become an important tool for paleotemperature reconstruction, and they have potential for applications in other fields, e.g., groundwater dating (He), groundwater - soil air interaction ("excess air"), or gas - water - oil partitioning.

We have developed new methods and models to interpret dissolved noble gases in groundwater in terms of recharge temperature and altitude as well as excess air and its fractionation. These new ideas have been described in:

Download the Program "NOBLEGAS"


The noble gas fit program "NOBLEGAS" is now available for downlaod. NOBLEGAS is a compiled MATLAB® routine. You need MATLAB version 5 (or newer) to run it. If you wish to download our program, we ask you to give us your name and e-mail address. This registration will be used to maintain a list of users of our software, who will be informed whenever an updated version becomes available. The program has continuously been improved in the past and there are several plans to expand its capabilities in the near future. Hence, it may be very useful for you to be on our user list.

To register, please follow this registration email-link<em>Please enable JavaScript!</em> and complete the provided message with your details. Thank you!

Download and installation instructions

  1. To run the program "NOBLEGAS", the matrix-based math program MATLAB® is needed.
  2. Download the program "NOBLEGAS" (compiled MATLAB® routine):

    • noblegas.dll for PC with Windows95/98 or NT and MATLAB® 5.3
    • noblegas.p for Mac OS 9 and MATLAB® 5.2  -  noblegas.hqx (BinHex, 274K) or noblegas.bin (MacBinary II, 202 K)
    • noble90.p for both Mac OS X or Windows running MATLAB® 6 NOTE: this is a more sophisticated version of the above programs including all bells and whistles.

  3. Download the manual for the program (for the older-version programs: Noblegas_Manual.pdf, 20 K; or, for the latest-version noble90: Noblegas90_Manual.pdf, 40 K; requires Acrobat Reader)
  4. Brief installation instructions:

    • Make sure that the folder where the program (either noblegas.p, noblegas.dll or noble90.p) is located is included in your MATLAB's Path list, otherwise it will not be found.
    • The program is started by typing "noblegas" (for the older program 'noblegas') or "noble90" (for the newer program noble90) in MATLAB's command window. A new window is opened, from which the processing of noble gas data sets is controlled.
    • For further information see the Manual.

If you have problems to downlaod the program please contact W. Aeschbach-Hertig (<em>Please enable JavaScript!</em>)

Conditions for the use of this software

This software and its documentation are made available free of charge by the Environmental Isotopes Group of Eawag to be used in the public interest and for the advancement of science. You may freely use, copy, or distribute, but not sell, this software. If you distribute copies of this software, make sure the recipients receive a copy of this notice and receive or can get a copy of the original distribution.

The user agrees to appropriately cite the original publications of the authors in publications that result from the use of this software (see below).

Because the software and related material are free and provided "as is", the authors and the Eawag have made no warranty, express or implied, as to accuracy or completeness and are not obligated to provide the user with any support, consulting, training or assistance of any kind with regard to the use, operation, and performance of this software nor to provide the user with any updates, revisions, new versions or "bug fixes".

The user accepts all risk for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use of this software.
Please cite at least one of the following papers when using this program: