Applications of Hydrology: How Heavy Water Could Expand the Possibilities

Hydrology is the study of the patterns of water, a practice that has broad applications. From precipitation to run-off to drought, the topic stretches across all H2O — whether it’s on the Earth, under the Earth, or in the atmosphere.

Heavy water, also known as deuterium oxide, is water that is made of an isotope of hydrogen. It contains the same amount of protons as a drop of normal water but a different number of neutrons.

The molecule moves identically to water, but it’s easier to trace. Since its discovery in the early 1930s, heavy water has opened up a world of possibilities to the practice of hydrology. It can tell a technician, engineer, or researcher where a liquid is moving and how it’s distributed across different areas. We’ll look at what this means for the industry at large.

The Versatility

Liquid can be a mystery to many people, to even the experts of the world. From storms to pipes to reservoirs, unexpected accidents occur every year seemingly without warning. Hydrology analyzes different situations and draws conclusions as to what will happen so engineers can get ahead of the problem.

Heavy water can be implemented to control for erosion, mitigate the effects of drought, generate hydropower, and optimize irrigation. Nuclear reactors will use it as a coolant and to control for the speed of the neutrons.

It can also be used to help scientists understand more about the magnetic fields that surround a nucleus or to help produce different organic compounds. Researchers might use it to understand respiration processes in plants or to test the metabolic rate of humans or animals.

A Safe Tracer

There are a number of sectors that rely on understanding how fluids move, including the Life Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and High Technologies. However, all organizations need to be careful with how they proceed in determining the trends.

Deuterium oxide is stable and produces virtually no harmful chemicals. The minimal risk makes it possible to introduce to a variety of man-made or natural structures. For example, a dam might use heavy water to determine the maximum effect of a flood, or a drainage project might use it to determine how strong of a storm it can handle.

In addition to showing where water is flowing, heavy water can also be used in hydraulic fracturing to determine whether drilling fluid has seeped into a given area. Scientists will use algorithms to accurately predict the patterns and influence future decisions.

Heavy Water and Isowater

Heavy water has enormous potential to tell you more about where a liquid is going and what forces are driving the motion. Isowater is a leading supplier of heavy water, offering practical benefits without endangering the Earth. Our company understands what it means to have a reliable vendor who can scale services to meet your needs. See why we’re trusted as a global supplier of deuterium oxide when you contact us today.