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Uranium in surface and ground waters in Boreal Europe
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3585-2209
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences.
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences.
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences.
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2009 (English)In: Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, ISSN 1467-7873, E-ISSN 2041-4943, Vol. 9, p. 51-62Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on uranium (U) in surface and groundwaters in Boreal Europe (Sweden, Finland, Russia). Data from recently completed regional hydrogeochemical surveys and from site-specific studies were combined, in order to enhance the current understanding of U behaviour in the catchments and water bodies of these northerly latitudes. Over Precambrian areas (dominated by igneous and metamorphic rocks) the aqueous U concentrations in general increased in a downward direction, i.e. from stream waters to overburden groundwaters to bedrock groundwaters, and they were correlated with the U abundance in the surrounding overburden (mainly glacial till). Over Phanerozoic areas (dominated by terrigene deposits containing or composed of limestone) the aqueous U concentrations were, in contrast, unrelated to overburden U concentrations and strongly correlated with dissolved Ca and HCO(3) concentrations. There is thus an overall geochemical and hydrochemical control, respectively, related to the underlying lithology. At geologically specific and local sites there is a range of correlations and control mechanisms of aqueous U. From acid sulphate soils, occurring abundantly on coastal plains, runoff below pH 4.0 is enriched in U (up to 55 mu g/l) most likely due to oxidation of U(IV) minerals followed by subsequent limited sorption of U(VI) in the acidic environment. In a studied black shale setting, characterized by high U concentrations (LIP to > 200 ppm), U levels increased in groundwater (up to 200 mu g/l) and surface water (up to 80 mu g/l) as the conditions changed from reducing to oxidizing. In an unmineralized granitic setting, proposed as a repository for spent nuclear fuel, elevated U concentrations in surface waters (up to 25 mu g/l) reflect a regional stream-hydrochemical anomaly and in bedrock groundwaters (up to > 100 mu g/l), most likely mobilization of uranyl from U-rich fracture coatings. In the Baltic Sea, which has unique brackish water, the ratio of U to Cl is similar to that in the oceans but contrasting near-coastal U trends exist, characterized by all inverse relationship between IT and Cl concentrations. These coastal-water anomalies are most likely caused by high U levels in inflowing streams, and possibly to some extent submarine discharge of U-enriched waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 9, p. 51-62
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-1944DOI: 10.1144/1467-7873/08-185OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-1944DiVA, id: diva2:308992
Available from: 2010-04-06 Created: 2010-04-06 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Åström, Mats E.Peltola, PasiRönnback, PernillaLavergren, UlfBergbäck, Bo

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