Cerium sequestration and accumulation in fractured crystalline bedrock: The role of Mn-Fe (hydr-)oxides and clay minerals
2017 (English)In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, ISSN 0016-7037, E-ISSN 1872-9533, Vol. 199, 370-389 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study focuses on the mechanisms of Ce sequestration and accumulation in the fracture network of the upper kilometer of the granitoid bedrock of the Baltic Shield in southeast Sweden (Laxemar area, Sweden). The material includes 81 specimens of bulk secondary mineral precipitates ("fracture coatings") collected on fracture walls identified in 17 drill cores, and 66 groundwater samples collected from 21 deep boreholes with equipment designed for retrieval of representative groundwater at controlled depths. The concentrations of Ce in the fracture coatings, although varying considerably (10-90th percentiles: 67-438 mg kg(-1)), were frequently higher than those of the wall rock (10-90th percentiles: 70-118 mg kg(-1)). Linear combination fitting analysis of Ce L-III-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectra, obtained for 19 fracture coatings with relatively high Ce concentrations (>= 145 mg kg(-1)) and a wide range of Ce-anomaly values, revealed that Ce(IV) occurs frequently in the upper 10 m of the fracture network (Ce(IV)/Ce-total = 0.06-1.00 in 8 out of 11 specimens) and is mainly associated with Mn oxides (modeled as Ce oxidatively scavenged by birnessite). These features are in line with the strong oxidative and sorptive capacities of Mn oxide as demonstrated by previous studies, and abundant todorokite and birnessite-like Mn oxides identified in 3 out of 4 specimens analyzed by Mn K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in the upper parts of the fracture network (down to 5 m). For a specimen with very high Ce concentration (1430 mg kg(-1)) and NASC-normalized Ce anomaly (3.63), the analysis of Ce XANES and Mn XAS data revealed (i) a predominance of Ce oxide in addition to Ce scavenged by Mn oxide; and (ii) a large fraction of poorly-crystalline hexagonal birnessite and aqueous Mn2+, suggesting a recent or on-going oxidation of Mn2+ in this fracture. In addition, the Ce oxide precipitates on this fracture observed by in situ SEM-EDS contained considerable amounts of Mn. These spectroscopic and microscopic features led us to suggest that the remarkable accumulation of Ce(IV) in this fracture is a result of repeated formation and dissolution of Mn oxides, that is, formation of Mn oxide followed by oxidative scavenging of Ce as Ce oxide nanoparticles, which largely remained during the subsequent reductive dissolution of the Mn oxides. In addition, the XANES data indicate that goethite has the capability to oxidize Ce at near-neutral pH under our experimental conditions (goethite reacted with 0.001M Ce for 48 h in a glove box with O-2 < 1 ppm). This previously unrecognized Ce oxidation pathway also seems to contribute to a minor extent to the oxidative scavenging of Ce in the fracture network. Trivalent Ce in the fracture coatings, in particular below 2.5 m, is mainly sorbed as inner-sphere complexes on clay minerals. Taking into account the facts that Ce in the present groundwater is scarce and modeled to be largely complexed with humic substance, it is argued that the inner-sphere complexes were mainly formed from past (Paleozoic) hydrothermal fluids. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 199, 370-389 p.
Ce anomaly, Ce oxidation states, Oxidative scavenging, X-ray absorption near-edge structure
Research subject Natural Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-61146DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2016.11.044ISI: 000393125500023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-61146DiVA: diva2:1079282