About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 1011

Last Page: 1011

Title: Importance of Resolution for Helium Detectors Used in Uranium Exploration: ABSTRACT

Author(s): A. Zaikowski, E. H. Roberts

Article Type: Meeting abstract


One aspect of the Department of Energy's National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) program sponsored through Bendix Field Engineering Corp. involves evaluation of instrumentation used for uranium exploration. In recent years 4He has been useful in exploring for both uranium ore and petroleum deposits. As a consequence, mass spectrometers (leak detector type) have been used to seek small (a few percent) variations of 4He in soil gases and aquifers. We modified one of these instruments to ascertain its reliability regarding resolution (the ability to separate adjacent mass peaks). We used the Veeco MS 17 AB because it provides twice the resolution of comparable instruments. An electromagnet was substituted for one of the permanent magnets to enable s anning the 0 to 5 amu mass range.

Acquired spectra allowed the determination of the contribution to mass three (HD + H3 + 3He) from mass two (H2). Interference is significant at the 1% level (the size of helium anomalies usually sought) when the abundance ratio (M = 2)/(M = 3) >= 75. This value is valid for the H2/4He ratio for an equivalent system with 50% lower resolution.

Additional experiments identified dissociated water or hydrocarbons as the principal source of H2. Correlations of 4He with soil gas moisture found in prior studies may not be due to true variation in 4He but are ascribable to artifacts resulting from H2 contributions to 4He. Corrections for such artifacts can be made by converting field instruments to a scanning mode.

End_of_Article - Last_Page 1011------------

Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists