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A comparison of the 222Rn activity in the SAYR with some worldwide published data is shown in Table 1. Cartwright et al. (2014) used 222Rn as a tracer to quantify groundwater inflow to the King River, South Australia and found up to 10 m3/m/day. In the arid Limari basin, North Chile, a low 222Rn level (less than 1,000 Bq/m3) was found in the reservoir waters compared to groundwater (around 20,000 Bq/m3), indicating that 222Rn is easily lost in surface water (Oyarzún et al. 2014). Similarly, a large difference of activity of 222Rn between surface water and groundwater was also observed in China (Wang 2002). Most 222Rn activity measured in surface water of the English Lake District was found to be low, with a few exceptions where samples taken from a limestone area or faulted area indicated direct influence of bedrock and groundwater discharge (Al-Masri & Blackburn 1999). A case study in central Italy, presenting different 222Rn activity in wells, indicates infiltration from the river to the aquifer (Stellato et al. 2013). These examples suggest that the difference in activity of 222Rn between surface water and groundwater makes 222Rn a potential tracer of interaction between these systems.

Table 1

222Rn activity (Bq/m3) in the groundwater and surface water studied here compared with some selected data from the published literature

 Surface water
Groundwater
 
StudyRangeAverageRangeAverageReference
South Australia 122–2,085 735 17,250–76,170 46,629 Cartwright et al. (2014)  
Central Italy 100–1,300 400 7,000–19,000 14,700 Stellato et al. (2013)  
North Chile 100–2,500 908 800–21,500 8,494 Oyarzún et al. (2014)  
England 54–1,288 378 – – Al-Masri & Blackburn (1999)  
China 10–8,940 1,260 200–3,274,000 81,096 Wang (2002)  
SAYR, China 102–9,132 2,562 10,398–41,583 27,809 This case 
 Surface water
Groundwater
 
StudyRangeAverageRangeAverageReference
South Australia 122–2,085 735 17,250–76,170 46,629 Cartwright et al. (2014)  
Central Italy 100–1,300 400 7,000–19,000 14,700 Stellato et al. (2013)  
North Chile 100–2,500 908 800–21,500 8,494 Oyarzún et al. (2014)  
England 54–1,288 378 – – Al-Masri & Blackburn (1999)  
China 10–8,940 1,260 200–3,274,000 81,096 Wang (2002)  
SAYR, China 102–9,132 2,562 10,398–41,583 27,809 This case 

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