Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Rare isotope helps track an ancient water source

The Nubian Aquifer, the font of fabled oases in Egypt and Libya, stretches languidly across 770,000 square miles of northern Africa, a collection of underground pools of water migrating, ever so slowly, through rock and sand toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Now, to solve some of the puzzles, physicists at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have turned to one of the rarest particles on earth: an elusive radioactive isotope usually ricocheting around in the atmosphere at hundreds of miles an hour.

The New York Times

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