Field Continuous Measurement of Dissolved Gases with a CF-MIMS: Applications to the Physics and Biogeochemistry of Groundwater Flow

In the perspective of a temporal and spatial exploration of aquatic environments (surface and groundwater), we developed a technique for field continuous measurements of dissolved gases with a precision better than 1% for N2, O2, CO2, He, Ar, 2% for Kr, 8% for Xe, and 3% for CH4, N2O and Ne. With a large resolution (from 1 × 10–9 to 1 × 10–2 ccSTP/g) and a capability of high frequency analysis (1 measure every 2 s), the CF-MIMS (Continuous Flow Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer) is an innovative tool allowing the investigation of a large panel of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in aquatic systems. Based on the available MIMS technology, this study introduces the development of the CF-MIMS (conception for field experiments, membrane choices, ionization) and an original calibration procedure allowing the quantification of mass spectral overlaps and temperature effects on membrane permeability. This study also presents two field applications of the CF-MIMS involving the well-logging of dissolved gases and the implementation of groundwater tracer tests with dissolved 4He. The results demonstrate the analytical capabilities of the CF-MIMS in the field. Therefore, the CF-MIMS is a valuable tool for the field characterization of biogeochemical reactivity, aquifer transport properties, groundwater recharge, groundwater residence time and aquifer-river exchanges from few hours to several weeks experiments.

Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

(Eliot Chatton1, Thierry Labasque1, Jérôme de La Bernardie1, Nicolas Guihéneuf1,2, Olivier Bour1, and Luc Aquilina1)

Continuous Flow Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer

Continuous Flow Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer

Download: WP81_EC_Gas_tracing

  1. Géosciences Rennes (UMR CNRS 6118)-OSUR, University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France
  2. University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario Canada