Department Water Resources and Drinking Water


The Environmental Isotopes Group is running labs for environmental tracer analytics (noble gas mass spectrometry, GC-MS, GC-ECD), applying environmental tracer methods in groundwater and lakes (tritium, noble gases, radon, SF6, CFCs) and using numerical methods for data analysis and modelling of aquatic systems.

Analytics / Laboratories

  • Analysis of noble gases, tritium, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113), radon and sulfur hexa-fluoride (SF6) from water samples. Refer to our pricelist for commercial measurements and have a look at the manual for water sampling.

Applications of environmental tracers

Data analysis and modelling

  • Time series analyses: the analysis of time series (e.g. water temperature records) is used to investigate climate effects on aquatic systems and organisms (mainly in surface waters, see projects of David Livingstone) or to study the water dynamics and renewal of goundwater resources (see projects of Matthias Brennwald and Eduard Hoehn).
  • Interpretation of noble gas concentrations in water, e.g. using the program NOBLEGAS.
  • Inverse modeling of transient tracer data to quantify mixing rates in lakes and groundwater residence times.