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Title: Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA

The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. Furthermore, we alter the (234U)/(238U) composition of Red Rock Creek downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water (234U)/(238U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114–1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activity ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041–1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek.more » In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (~70–80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Furthermore, contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Chemical Sciences Division
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Chemical Sciences Division; California State Univ. (CalState), East Bay, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Chemical Sciences Division; Univ. of Cincinnati, OH (United States). Nuclear and Radiological Engineering Program
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-511840
Journal ID: ISSN 0265-931X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 136; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0265-931X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Uranium isotopes; Sediment contamination; MC-ICP-MS; Water chemistry; Uranium mining; Geochemistry
OSTI Identifier:
1343034

Kayzar, Theresa M., Villa, Adam C., Lobaugh, Megan L., Gaffney, Amy M., and Williams, Ross W.. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.04.018.
Kayzar, Theresa M., Villa, Adam C., Lobaugh, Megan L., Gaffney, Amy M., & Williams, Ross W.. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.04.018.
Kayzar, Theresa M., Villa, Adam C., Lobaugh, Megan L., Gaffney, Amy M., and Williams, Ross W.. 2014. "Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.04.018. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1343034.
@article{osti_1343034,
title = {Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA},
author = {Kayzar, Theresa M. and Villa, Adam C. and Lobaugh, Megan L. and Gaffney, Amy M. and Williams, Ross W.},
abstractNote = {The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. Furthermore, we alter the (234U)/(238U) composition of Red Rock Creek downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water (234U)/(238U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114–1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activity ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041–1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (~70–80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Furthermore, contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.04.018},
journal = {Journal of Environmental Radioactivity},
number = C,
volume = 136,
place = {United States},
year = {2014},
month = {6}
}