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Paleotemp: A Mathematica Program for Evaluating Paleotemperatures from the Concentration of Atmospheric-Derived Noble Gases in Ground Water

D. Pinti
E. Van Drom
Journal / Anthology

Computers & Geosciences
Year: 1998
Volume: 24
Issue: 1
Page range: 33-41

During the recharge of an aquifer, atmosphere-derived noble gases are dissolved in ground water. The dissolved amount of gas depends on the relative noble gas solubilities, which in turn are inversely proportional to the ambient temperature. Therefore, paleotemperatures prevailing at the time of the aquifer recharge can be calculated from precise measurements of the amount of nobel gases in ground water samples. However, the initial noble gas concentrations can be modified by several physical factors, such as the NaCl content of water, the elevation of the recharge area, the radiogenic in situ production of noble gas isotopes, air contamination and degassing, all of which make paleotemperatures difficult to estimate. The amount of air added or gas lost are unknown parameters which must be evaluated through iterative methods. Here, we present a program written with Mathematica, which calculates paleotemperatures using atmospheric-derived noble gas corrected from the above mentioned factors. The program involves root finding methods and minimization of functions which has been specifically developed for this application.

*Science > Geology and Geophysics