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Title: Effect of Biogeochemical Redox Processes on the Fate and Transport of As and U at an Abandoned Uranium Mine Site: an X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Study

Although As can occur in U ore at concentrations up to 10 wt-%, the fate and transport of both U and As at U mine tailings have not been previously investigated at a watershed scale. The major objective of this study was to determine primary chemical and physical processes contributing to transport of both U and As to a down gradient watershed at an abandoned U mine site in South Dakota. Uranium is primarily transported by erosion at the site, based on decreasing concentrations in sediment with distance from the tailings. equential extractions and U X-ray absorption near-edge fine structure (XANES) fitting indicate that U is immobilised in a near-source sedimentation pond both by prevention of sediment transport and by reduction of UVI to UIV. In contrast to U, subsequent release of As to the watershed takes place from the pond partially due to reductive dissolution of Fe oxy(hydr)oxides. However, As is immobilised by adsorption to clays and Fe oxy(hydr)oxides in oxic zones and by formation of As–sulfide mineral phases in anoxic zones down gradient, indicated by sequential extractions and As XANES fitting. This study indicates that As should be considered during restoration of uranium mine sites in order tomore » prevent transport.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Chemistry; Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 1
CSIRO Publishing
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory