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Author Leonard, R. B. ♦ Janzer, V. J.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword GEOTHERMAL ENERGY ♦ GEOSCIENCES ♦ RADIUM 226 ♦ RADIOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS ♦ RADON ♦ THERMAL WATERS ♦ CHEMICAL COMPOSITION ♦ NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY ♦ ACID CARBONATES ♦ ALPHA DETECTION ♦ BETA DETECTION ♦ CALCIUM CARBONATES ♦ COPRECIPITATION ♦ DEPTH ♦ GEOLOGIC FAULTS ♦ GEOTHERMAL FLUIDS ♦ HOT SPRINGS ♦ HYDROLOGY ♦ MEDIUM TEMPERATURE ♦ MONTANA ♦ ALKALINE EARTH ISOTOPES ♦ ALKALINE EARTH METAL COMPOUNDS ♦ ALPHA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES ♦ CALCIUM COMPOUNDS ♦ CARBON COMPOUNDS ♦ CARBONATES ♦ CHARGED PARTICLE DETECTION ♦ CHEMICAL ANALYSIS ♦ DETECTION ♦ DIMENSIONS ♦ ELEMENTS ♦ EVEN-EVEN NUCLEI ♦ FLUIDS ♦ GEOLOGIC STRUCTURES ♦ HEAVY NUCLEI ♦ ISOTOPES ♦ NONMETALS ♦ NORTH AMERICA ♦ NUCLEI ♦ OXYGEN COMPOUNDS ♦ PRECIPITATION ♦ RADIATION DETECTION ♦ RADIOACTIVITY ♦ RADIOISOTOPES ♦ RADIUM ISOTOPES ♦ RARE GASES ♦ ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION ♦ SEPARATION PROCESSES ♦ THERMAL SPRINGS ♦ USA ♦ YEARS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES 150201* -- Geology & Hydrology of Geothermal Systems-- USA-- (-1989) ♦ Geology & Hydrology(-1989)
Abstract Radioactive hot springs issue from a fault zone in crystalline rock of the Boulder batholith at Alhambra, Jefferson County, in southwestern Montana. The discharge contains high concentrations of radon, and the gross alpha activity and the concentration of radium 226 exceed maximum levels recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water. Part of the discharge is diverted for space heating, bathing, and domestic use. The radioactive thermal waters at measured temperatures of about 60/sup 0/C are of the sodium bicarbonate type and saturated with respect to calcium carbonate. Radium-226 in the rock and on fractured surfaces or coprecipitated with calcium carbonate probably is the principal source of radon that is dissolved in the thermal water and discharged with other gases from some wells and springs. Local surface water and shallow ground water are of the calcium bicarbonate type and exhibit low background activity. The temperature, percent sodium, and radioactivity of mixed waters adjacent to the fault zone increase with depth. Samples from most of the major hot springs in southwestern Montana have been analyzed for gross alpha and beta activity. The high level of radioactivity at Alhambra appears to be related to leaching of radioactive material from fractured siliceous veins by ascending thermal waters and is not a normal characteristic of hot springs issuing from fractured crystalline rock in Montana.
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1978-01-01
Publisher Place United States
Journal J. Res. U.S. Geol. Surv.
Volume Number 6
Issue Number 4


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