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  • 1.
    Augustsson, Anna
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    A probabilistic view of risks associated with consumption of drinking water in an area with natural fluoride enrichments2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Augustsson, Anna
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Assessing the risk of an excess fluoride intake among Swedish children in households with private wells: Expanding static single-source methods to a probabilistic multi-exposure-pathway approach2014In: Environment International, ISSN 0160-4120, E-ISSN 1873-6750, Vol. 68, p. 192-199Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is often assumed that water consumption is the major route of exposure for fluoride and analysis of water fluoride content is the most common approach for ensuring that the daily intake is not too high. In the present study, the risk of excess intake was characterized for children in households with private wells in Kalmar County, Sweden, where the natural geology shows local enrichments in fluorine. By comparing water concentrations with the WHO drinking water guideline (1.5 mg/L), it was found that 24% of the ca. 4800 sampled wells had a concentration above this limit, hence providing a figure for the number of children in the households concerned assessed to be at risk using this straightforward approach. The risk of an excess intake could, alternatively, also be characterized based on a tolerable daily intake (in this case the US EPA RfD of 0.06 mg/kg-day). The exposure to be evaluated was calculated using a probabilistic approach, where the variability in all exposure factors was considered, again for the same study population. The proportion of children assessed to be at risk after exposure from drinking water now increased to 48%, and when the probabilistic model was adjusted to also include other possible exposure pathways; beverages and food, ingestion of toothpaste, oral soil intake and dust inhalation, the number increased to 77%. Firstly, these results show how the risk characterization is affected by the basis of comparison. In this example, both of the reference values used are widely acknowledged. Secondly, it illustrates how much of the total exposure may be overlooked when only focusing on one exposure pathway, and thirdly, it shows the importance of considering the variability in all relevant pathways.

  • 3.
    Augustsson, Anna
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Probabilistic exposure assessment challenges the safety margin in drinking water criteria – the example of fluoride2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fluoride in surface water and groundwater in southeast Sweden: sources, controls and risk aspects2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to determine the sources, controls and risk aspects of fluoride in surface water and groundwater in a region of southeastern Sweden where the fluorine-rich 1.45 Ga circular Götemar granite (5 km in diameter) crops out in the surrounding 1.8 Ga granites and quartz monzodiorites (TIB rocks). The materials of this thesis include both primary data, collected for the purpose of this thesis, and a large set of secondary data, retrieved from the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., the Swedish Geological Survey and the Kalmar County Council. A characteristic feature of the area is high fluoride concentrations in all kinds of natural waters, including surface waters (such as streams) and groundwater in both the Quaternary deposits (regolith groundwater) and bedrock fractures (fracture groundwater). A number of potential sources and controls of the high fluoride concentrations were investigated, including a variety of geological, mineralogical, mineral-chemical and hydrological features and processes. For the stream waters and regolith groundwater, high fluoride concentrations were correlated with the location of the Götemar granite. This finding is explained by the discharge of fluoride-rich groundwater from fractures in the bedrock and/or the release of fluoride due to the weathering of fluorine-bearing minerals in the Quaternary deposits; however, the Quaternary deposits had considerably lower fluoride concentrations than the underlying bedrock. The high fluoride concentrations in the fresh fracture groundwater (up to 7.4 mg/L) in the TIB-rocks are proposed to be the result of long residence times and the alteration/dissolution of fluorine-bearing primary and secondary minerals along the fracture walls. In terms of risk aspects, this thesis shows that fluoride can add to the transport and inorganic complexation of aluminium in humic-rich, acidic streams. Additionally, 24 % of the children in households with private wells in Kalmar County were assessed to be at risk of excess fluoride intake based on the WHO drinking water guideline value (1.5 mg/L). However, the risk increased significantly when instead the US EPA reference dose (0.06 mg/kg-day) was used, both when all relevant exposure pathways were taken into account as well as water consumption alone. Hence, it is shown that the risk of an excess intake of fluoride is strongly dependent on the basis for evaluation.

  • 5.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Augustsson, Anna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Assessing the risk of an excessive fluoride intake in a region of southeastern Sweden2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Gustafsson, Jon Petter
    Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Skolan för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnad (ABE), Institutionen för hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik (SEED).
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Aluminium speciation in boreal catchments enriched in fluoride2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Mathurin, Frédéric A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fluoride abundance and controls in fresh groundwater in Quaternary deposits and bedrock fractures in an area with fluorine-rich granitoid rocks2016In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 569, p. 948-960Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study focuses on fluoride (F-) concentrations in groundwater in an area in northern Europe (Laxemar, southeast Sweden) where high F- concentrations have previously been found in surface waters such as streams and quarries. Fluoride concentrations were determined over time in groundwater in the Quaternary deposits ("regolith groundwater"), and with different sampling techniques from just beneath the ground surface to nearly -700 min the bedrock (fracture) groundwater. A number of potential controls of dissolved F- were studied, including geological variables, mineralogy, mineral chemistry and hydrology. In the regolith groundwater the F- concentrations (0.3-4.2 mg/L) were relatively stable over time at each sampling site but varied widely among the sampling sites. In these groundwaters, the F- concentrations were uncorrelated with sample (filter) depth and the water table in meters above sea level (masl), with the thicknesses of the groundwater column and the regolith, and with the distribution of soil types at the sampling sites. Fluoride concentrations were, however, correlated with the anticipated spatial distribution of erosional material (till) derived from a F-rich circular granite intrusion. Abundant release of F-from such material is thus suggested, primarily via dissolution of fluorite and weathering of biotite. In the fresh fracture groundwater, the F- concentrations (1.2-7.4 mg/L) were generally higher than in the regolith groundwater, and were uncorrelated with depth and with location relative to the granite intrusion. Two mechanisms explaining the overall high F- levels in the fracture groundwater were addressed. First, weathering/dissolution of fluorite, bastnasite and apophyllite, which are secondary minerals formed in the fractures during past hydrothermal events, and biotite which is a primary mineral exposed on fracture walls. Second, long water-residence times, favoring water-rock interaction and build-up of high dissolved F- concentrations. The findings are relevant in contexts of extraction of groundwater for drinking-water purposes. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 8.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Mathurin, Frédéric A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fluoride in groundwater of regolith and bedrock (0-900 meters depth) in a granitoidic setting, SE Sweden2013In: Mineralogical magazine, ISSN 0026-461X, E-ISSN 1471-8022, Vol. 77, no 5, p. 691-691Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Mathurin, Frédéric A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Geological, mineralogical and hydrological controls of fluoride in fresh groundwater in Quaternary deposits and bedrock fractures in a coastal area with Proterozoic granitoidsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Mathurin, Frédéric A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Gustafsson, Jon Petter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences;KTH Royal Inst Technol.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    The impact of fluoride on Al abundance and speciation in boreal streams2015In: Chemical Geology, ISSN 0009-2541, E-ISSN 1872-6836, Vol. 409, p. 118-124Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The impact of fluoride on the abundance and speciation of aluminium (Al) was investigated in three boreal streams characterised by overall high concentrations of fluoride and dissolved organic matter. Stream-water sampling was carried out several times a year for at least 4 years, and a chemical equilibrium model (Visual MINTEQ) was applied in order to model the proportion of colloidal and organically/inorganically complexed Al in the waters. The Al concentrations in filtered (0.45 mu m) water samples were inversely correlated with pH, and reached values up to approximately 1 mg/L during low pH conditions (pH < 6.0). In a stream with high fluoride concentrations, as compared to a similar stream with only moderately elevated fluoride concentrations, the Al concentrations were consistently elevated. For the stream with high concentrations of fluoride and Al, the model predicted both high concentrations and proportions of Al-fluoride complexation. This prediction indicates that high fluoride levels contribute to raise both the Al abundance and the ratio of inorganic to organic Al complexation in stream water. In contrast, for another stream with high fluoride concentrations and consistently high (near neutral) pH, there was no evidence of fluoride affecting Al concentration or complexation. These results show that it is important to focus future studies on the role of high levels of dissolved fluoride on both the speciation and the toxicity of Al in stream water.

  • 11.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Fluoride patterns in a boreal stream influenced by bedrock and hydrology2011In: Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts 2011. Mineralogical Magazine, Vol. 75 (3), 2011, p. 517-517Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Impact of a Fluorine-Rich Granite Intrusion on Levels and Distribution of Fluoride in a Small Boreal Catchment2012In: Aquatic geochemistry, ISSN 1380-6165, E-ISSN 1573-1421, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 77-94Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the influence of a fluorine-rich granite on fluoride concentration in a small boreal catchment in northern Europe. The materials include stream water and shallow groundwater sampled in spatial and temporal dimensions, and analytical data on fluoride and a number of ancillary variables. Fluoride increased strongly towards the lower reaches of the catchment—at the stream outlet the concentrations were up to 4.2 mg L −1 and 1.6–4.7 times higher than upstream. Additionally, fluoride concentrations were particularly high in groundwater and small surface-water bodies (including quarries) above or in direct contact with the granite and showed a strong inverse correlation with water discharge in the stream. Taken together, these data and patterns pin-point the granite intrusion as the ultimate source, explaining the abundance and distribution of dissolved fluoride within the catchment. The granite most likely deliver fluoride to the stream by three mechanisms: (1) weathering of the fine fraction of glacial deposits, derived from the granite and associated fluorine-rich greisen alterations, (2) large relative input of baseflow, partially originating in the granite and greisen, into the lower reaches during low flow in particular, and (3) water-conducting fractures or fracture zones running through the fluorine-rich granite and greisen.

  • 13.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Yu, Changxun
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Svensson, Daniel
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fluorine geochemistry of Quaternary deposits in a nemo-boreal catchment with elevated dissolved fluoride in surface waters and groundwaterManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Yu, Changxun
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Svensson, Daniel
    Aspö Hard Rock Lab, Oskarshamn.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fluorine geochemistry of quaternary deposits in a nemo-boreal catchment with elevated dissolved fluoride in surface waters and groundwater2016In: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, ISSN 0375-6742, E-ISSN 1879-1689, Vol. 170, p. 148-156Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study focuses on fluorine (F) concentrations and solid-phase speciation in Quaternary deposits, including till, sorted sediments (gravel, sand, clay/silt) and organic-rich soil types, in an area in southeast Sweden underlain by 1.8 Ga granites and quartz monzodiorites with moderate F concentrations (0.11-0.13 wt%) and an outcrop (5 km in diameter) of 1.45 Ga granite (the Gotemar granite) with high to very high F concentrations (0.38-0.54 wt%). Eighteen <1 to 5 m thick profiles were sampled both upon and in the vicinity of the Gotemar granite. The F concentrations in the Quaternary deposits were considerably lower than in the underlying fresh bedrock, with the overall highest concentrations in glacial clay having values up to 660 ppm. A contributing factor to the low F concentrations in the till, as compared to the fresh rock, is release and leaching of fluoride (F-) during alteration of biotite and amphiboles to secondary minerals. Sequential chemical extractions showed that the F in the Quaternary deposits exists mainly in the residual fraction, and also to a substantial extent in phases extractable with hydroxylamine hydrochloride in the till and in phases extractable with Na pyrophosphate in the organic-rich soil types. These features indicate that after release via alteration of primary minerals, F- has to a significant extent been scavenged by Fe/Al (and perhaps Mn) oxyhydroxides in the till and by labile organic matter in the organic soil types. The high F- concentrations previously reported for stream waters and regolith groundwaters in the area are due to weathering and leaching of the Quaternary deposits and discharge of fluoride-rich waters from underlying bedrock fractures. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 15.
    Berger, Tobias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    High fluoride concentrations in surface water: example from a catchment in SE Sweden2010In: Abstract Volume of COST Action 637- METEAU 4th International Conference. Kristianstad, Sweden, October 13-15, 2010. / [ed] Bhattacharya, P., Sandhi, A. and Rosborg, I., Stockholm: Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology , 2010, p. 80-81Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Betzholtz, Per-Eric
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Petersson, J.
    County Administrative Board of Kalmar.
    Stedt, Johan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    What do population viability analyses tell about the future for Baltic Dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii and Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus on Öland?2010In: Ornis Svecica, ISSN 1102-6812, Vol. 20, p. 93-102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Population viability analysis (PVA) has become an important tool in conservation biology. Even though detailed outcomes of PVA:s are constrained by data quality, it is a useful approach when the objective is exploratory, aiming to identify important parameters for viability or to guide future field work on endangered species. In this study we perform PVA:s based on scarce data to explore viability of two endangered bird species, Baltic Dunlin and Montagu’s Harrier, on Öland. Our simulation results underline that both species are under severe threats, with a median time to extinction of 24 years in Baltic Dunlin and 63 years in Montagu’s Harrier. Sensitivity analyses show that population growth rate is the most important factor for the model outcome in both species. Since there are no apparent threats for adult birds on Öland, this suggests that conservation measures should focus on improving conditions for successful breeding on the island. In additional simulations we explore some threats in more detail. In the case of Baltic Dunlin nest predation of eggs and chicks increase the extinction risk. In Montagu’s Harrier viability increases if breeding attempts within agricultural areas are detected and safeguarded. In order to enhance the PVA model, and build a stage-structured model, we suggest that detailed data on fecundity and survival should be collected.

  • 17.
    Mathurin, Frédéric A.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Tullborg, Eva-Lena
    Univ Gothenburg.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Kalinowski, Birgitta E.
    Swedish Nucl Fuel & Waste Management Co.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    High cesium concentrations in groundwater in the upper 1.2 km of fractured crystalline rock - Influence of groundwater origin and secondary minerals2014In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, ISSN 0016-7037, E-ISSN 1872-9533, Vol. 132, p. 187-213Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dissolved and solid phase cesium (Cs) was studied in the upper 1.2 km of a coastal granitoid fracture network on the Baltic Shield (Aspo Hard Rock Laboratory and Laxemar area, SE Sweden). There unusually high Cs concentrations (up to 5-6 mu g L-1) occur in the low-temperature (<20 degrees C) groundwater. The material includes water collected in earlier hydro-chemical monitoring programs and secondary precipitates (fracture coatings) collected on the fracture walls, as follows: (a) hydraulically pristine fracture groundwater sampled through 23 surface boreholes equipped for the retrieval of representative groundwater at controlled depths (Laxemar area), (b) fracture groundwater affected by artificial drainage collected through 80 boreholes drilled mostly along the Aspo Hard Rock Laboratory (underground research facility), (c) surface water collected in local streams, a lake and sea bay, and shallow groundwater collected in 8 regolith boreholes, and (d) 84 new specimens of fracture coatings sampled in cores from the Aspo HRL and Laxemar areas. The groundwater in each area is different, which affects Cs concentrations. The highest Cs concentrations occurred in deep-seated saline groundwater (median Aspo HRL: 4.1 mu g L-1; median Laxemar: 3.7 mu g L-1) and groundwater with marine origin (Aspo HRL: 4.2 mu g L-1). Overall lower, but variable, Cs concentrations were found in other types of groundwater. The similar concentrations of Cs in the saline groundwater, which had a residence time in the order of millions of years, and in the marine groundwater, which had residence times in the order of years, shows that duration of water-rock interactions is not the single and primary control of dissolved Cs in these systems. The high Cs concentrations in the saline groundwater is ascribed to long-term weathering of minerals, primarily Cs-enriched fracture coatings dominated by illite and mixed-layer clays and possibly wall rock micaceous minerals. The high Cs concentrations in the groundwater of marine origin are, in contrast, explained by relatively fast cation exchange reactions. As indicated by the field data and predicted by 1D solute transport modeling, alkali cations with low-energy hydration carried by intruding marine water are capable of (NH4+ in particular and K+ to some extent) replacing Cs+ on frayed edge (FES) sites on illite in the fracture coatings. The result is a rapid and persistent (at least in the order of decades) buildup of dissolved Cs concentrations in fractures where marine water flows downward. The identification of high Cs concentrations in young groundwater of marine origin and the predicted capacity of NH4+ to displace Cs from fracture solids are of particular relevance in the disposal of radioactive nuclear waste deep underground in crystalline rock. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 18.
    Yu, Changxun
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. The Swedish Anglers Association, Sweden.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Song, Zhaoliang
    Tianjin University, Peoples Republic of China.
    Peltola, Pasi
    Boliden Rönnskär, Sweden.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Geochemical controls on dispersion of U and Th in Quaternary deposits, stream water, and aquatic plants in an area with a granite pluton2019In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 663, p. 16-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The weathering of U and/or Th rich granite plutons, which occurs worldwide, may serve as a potentially important, but as yet poorly defined source for U and Th in (sub-)surface environments. Here, we assessed the impact of an outcrop of such granite (5 km in diameter) and its erosional products on the distribution of U and Th in four nemo-boreal catchments. The results showed that (i) the pluton was enriched in both U and Th; and (ii) secondary U and Th phases were accumulated by peat/gyttja and in other Quaternary deposits with high contents of organic matter. Movement of the ice sheet during the latest glaciation led to dispersal of U- and Th-rich materials eroded from the pluton, resulting in a progressive increase in dissolved U and Th concentrations, as well as U concentrations in aquatic plants with increasing proximity to the pluton. The accumulation of U in the aquatic plants growing upon the pluton (100–365 mg kg−1, dry ash weight) shows that this rock represents a long-term risk for adjacent ecosystems. Dissolved pools of U and Th were correlated with those of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and were predicted to largely occur as organic complexes. This demonstrates the importance of DOM in the transport of U and Th in the catchments. Large fractions of Ca2UO2(CO3)30(aq) were modeled to occur in the stream with highest pH and alkalinity and thus, explain the strongly elevated U concentrations and fluxes in this particular stream. In future climate scenarios, boreal catchments will experience intensified runoff and warmer temperature that favor the production of hydrologically accessible DOM and alkalinity. Therefore, the results obtained from this study have implications for predicting the distribution and transport of Th and U in boreal catchments, especially those associated with U and/or Th rich granite plutons.

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