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Title: Uranium Attenuated by a Wetland 50 Years after Release into a Stream

Abstract

: Wetlands have several important roles in the hydrological cycle, including maintaining water quality by removing surface and groundwater contaminants. Over time, the wetlands themselves can become contaminated, posing a secondary environmental threat. The objective of this study was to calculate the inventory of uranium (U) remaining in a wetland 50 years after the Fuel Fabrication Facility on the Savannah River Site located in South Carolina released 43.5 Mg of U into the nearby environment. Over 232 700 gamma spectra and their associated global positioning system (GPS) coordinates were collected and collated into a map of the contaminated land area. Five core samples were also collected that contained U concentrations as high as 14 099 mg/kg (background levels are about 2.7 mg/kg U). The contaminated area was 278 000 m2 , and it contained 36.2 Mg U, about 83% of the U released. About 80% of the U in the wetland was concentrated in a former beaver pond, a 73 000 m2 area (26% of the contaminated area). This contaminated wetland area was almost 2 km from the source, indicating that it comprised unique hydro-biogeochemical properties for immobilizing the released U. To the best of our knowledge, this is themore » first data-rich study to quantify the long-term effectiveness of a wetland to immobilize inorganic contaminants. Significant environmental changes to the system, such as those associated with hydrology, forest fires, or anthropogenic land use, may alter the complex hydro-biogeochemical interactions necessary for the long-term immobilization of the U.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science - Office of Biological and Environmental Research - Subsurface Biogeochemical Research; USDOE Office of Science - Office of Basic Energy Sciences - Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR); USDOE Office of Environmental Management
OSTI Identifier:
1765382
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
ACS Earth and Space Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 8
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Contaminant inventory; depth profiles; gamma spectroscopy; global positioning system; natural attenuation; source terms; wetlands

Citation Formats

Kaplan, Daniel I., Smith, Ronald, Parker, Connor J., Baker, Matthew, Cabrera, Tristan, Ferguson, Brennan O., Kemner, Kenneth M., Laird, Michael, Logan, Christina, and Lott, Jeffry. Uranium Attenuated by a Wetland 50 Years after Release into a Stream. United States: N. p., 2021. Web. doi:10.1021/acsearthspacechem.0c00124.
Kaplan, Daniel I., Smith, Ronald, Parker, Connor J., Baker, Matthew, Cabrera, Tristan, Ferguson, Brennan O., Kemner, Kenneth M., Laird, Michael, Logan, Christina, & Lott, Jeffry. Uranium Attenuated by a Wetland 50 Years after Release into a Stream. United States. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsearthspacechem.0c00124
Kaplan, Daniel I., Smith, Ronald, Parker, Connor J., Baker, Matthew, Cabrera, Tristan, Ferguson, Brennan O., Kemner, Kenneth M., Laird, Michael, Logan, Christina, and Lott, Jeffry. 2021. "Uranium Attenuated by a Wetland 50 Years after Release into a Stream". United States. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsearthspacechem.0c00124.
@article{osti_1765382,
title = {Uranium Attenuated by a Wetland 50 Years after Release into a Stream},
author = {Kaplan, Daniel I. and Smith, Ronald and Parker, Connor J. and Baker, Matthew and Cabrera, Tristan and Ferguson, Brennan O. and Kemner, Kenneth M. and Laird, Michael and Logan, Christina and Lott, Jeffry},
abstractNote = {: Wetlands have several important roles in the hydrological cycle, including maintaining water quality by removing surface and groundwater contaminants. Over time, the wetlands themselves can become contaminated, posing a secondary environmental threat. The objective of this study was to calculate the inventory of uranium (U) remaining in a wetland 50 years after the Fuel Fabrication Facility on the Savannah River Site located in South Carolina released 43.5 Mg of U into the nearby environment. Over 232 700 gamma spectra and their associated global positioning system (GPS) coordinates were collected and collated into a map of the contaminated land area. Five core samples were also collected that contained U concentrations as high as 14 099 mg/kg (background levels are about 2.7 mg/kg U). The contaminated area was 278 000 m2 , and it contained 36.2 Mg U, about 83% of the U released. About 80% of the U in the wetland was concentrated in a former beaver pond, a 73 000 m2 area (26% of the contaminated area). This contaminated wetland area was almost 2 km from the source, indicating that it comprised unique hydro-biogeochemical properties for immobilizing the released U. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first data-rich study to quantify the long-term effectiveness of a wetland to immobilize inorganic contaminants. Significant environmental changes to the system, such as those associated with hydrology, forest fires, or anthropogenic land use, may alter the complex hydro-biogeochemical interactions necessary for the long-term immobilization of the U.},
doi = {10.1021/acsearthspacechem.0c00124},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1765382}, journal = {ACS Earth and Space Chemistry},
number = 8,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2021},
month = {8}
}

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