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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 49 (1965)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 360

Last Page: 360

Title: The Use and Detection of Fluorescent Sand Tracers: ABSTRACT

Author(s): P. G. Teleki

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Two recent developments, fluorescent tracers and a fluorescent particle counter, hold promise as practical means to the quantitative evaluation of littoral drift and sediment transport in rivers. Unlike radioactive material, luminophores present no health hazard or storage problems, offer a wider range of applicability, can be recovered in samples, and are more economical to use. The fluorescent tracers have been employed in studies of such specific problems of sediment migration as beach erosion, inlet stability, dune processes, and artificial beach nourishment.

Fluorescent dyes and thermosetting plastics have been combined to coat sand in a process designed to produce the tracer material, so that the physical properties of tracers and the sediments are nearly identical. Of the several materials and techniques tested, urea-formaldehyde resin, fluorescing organic dyes, and a catalytic procedure imparted the best chemical and physical characteristics to the tracer grains.

The application of tracers to sand transport studies became practical only with the invention of the fluorescent particle counter. This instrument provides a rapid and accurate method of frequency determination of tracer particles in sand samples, and therefore affords a much needed statistical treatment of sediment transport. The particle counter has been built on the principles of optics, electronics, and threshold decision logic, to differentiate simultaneously for four tracers, the fluorescent colors of which have been established through spectrophotometric measurements. Tracers in samples with concentrations varying from 10-7 to 10-2 are counted, tabulated, and recorded at the rate of 20,000 particles/second.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists