The Nuclear Hydrology laboratory is equipped with the instruments for measurement of stable as well as radio isotopes in water and sediments. The instruments are being used for field investigations and laboratory analysis for the study of soil moisture movement and estimation of recharge to groundwater, surface water and groundwater interaction, lakes studies, groundwater dating and identification of recharge sources and zones of deeper aquifers and springs.
Nuclear Hydrology Laboratory has three sub-sections, i.e., Groundwater Dating Laboratory, (ii) Stable Isotope Laboratory, and (iii) Sediment dating laboratory. Important instruments available in the Stable Isotope Laboratory are: Dual Inlet Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (DIIRMS), Continuous Flow Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (CFIRMS) with Elemental Analyser (EA) for measuring δD, δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ34S and δ37Cl in water and solids, Isotopic Water Analyzer (Liquid+Vapor) from LGR (Los Gatos Research) for measuring δ2H, δ17O, δ18O. Groundwater Dating Laboratory is equipped with Tritium Enrichment Units (2 No.), CO2 sample preparation lines, CO2 absorption line, Ultra Low Level Liquid Scintillation Spectrometer (Quantulus), Soil Moisture Extraction Units and Liquid Nitrogen Plant etc. The facilities are used for tritium and carbon dating of groundwater. Sediment Dating laboratory has Multichannel Gamma Ray Spectrometer, Geolog Rate Meter, Neutron Moisture and Density Probe, Ultrasonic Depth Indicator. Two sets of radon detectors are also available in the laboratory.
The laboratory is also equipped with Ion Chromatograph System-5000 of Dionex for analysis of ions, heavy metals, pesticides, carbohydrates etc. This instrument is useful in assessment of water quality and being used for various studies in the division.
Facilities of the laboratory were extended to Regional Centres and other divisions of the Institute for their technical studies. Facilities of the laboratory were also extended to various other departments/agencies like; PRL, Ahmedabad; NGRI, Hyderabad; JNU, New Delhi; NCAOR, Goa, IIT, Roorkee, IIT, Kanpur; IIT, Guwahati; Delhi University, Annamalai University; Central Ground Water Board etc.
During the year 2015-16, more than 8,000 water samples (precipitation, rivers, springs, air moisture and groundwater) were analyzed for δ2H and δ18O. Around 250 water samples were analyzed for environmental tritium and around 1600 water samples were analyzed for water chemistry on Ion Chromatograph.