An extensive H-3-He-3 study was performed to determine detailed characteristics of a regional flow system and a sewage plume over a distance of 4 km in a sand and gravel aquifer at Otis Air Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts, H-3-He-3 ages increase with depth in individual piezometer clusters and with distance along flowpaths, However, the age gradient with depth (Delta t/Delta z) is smaller in the plume than that in the regional waters, due to the intense recharge in the infiltration beds, The 1960s bomb peak of tritium in precipitation is archived longitudinally along a flowline through the main axis of the plume and vertically in individual piezometer clusters, On the eastern side of the sampling area, where water from Ashumet Pond forces plume water deeper into the flow system, H-3-He-3 ages are young at depth because the H-3-He-3 "clock" is reset due to ontgassing of helium in the pond. A reconstruction of the tritium input functions for the regional and plume samples shows that there is no offset in the peak [H-3] + [He-3(trit)] concentrations for the plume and regional water, indicating that the water from supply wells for use on the base is young. The H-3-He-3 ages and detergent concentrations in individual wells are consistent with the beginning of use of detergents and the time period when their concentrations in sewage would have been greatest. Ages and hydraulic properties calculated using the H-3-He-3 data compare well with those from previous investigations and from particle-tracking simulations.
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