Implications of groundwater weathered profile interactions to the mobilization of radionuclides
Data de publicação1998-07-01
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This study reports the nature and extent of open-system interaction between groundwater and a weathered profile developed in the high grade thorium and REE ore body in Morro do Ferro, Pocos de Caldas plateau. The radioelement mobility in the shallow oxidizing environment was considered by using chemical data in conjunction with U-234/U-238, Ra-226/Th-230, Th-230/U-234, Th-228/Th-232, Ra-228/Th-232 and Th-230/Ra-228 activity ratios (AR's) for borehole spoil and groundwater samples.Recharging groundwater from the studied borehole has low salinity values, with total dissolved solids content of 14.7 mg/l and total ionic strength of 0.00018. The ratio of the weight of dissolved radioelement per unit volume of solution to the weight of radioelement in solid phase per unit weight of solid phase showed that the radioelement solubility in the studied waters varied according to the following order: radium> uranium >thorium.U-234/U-238 AR's less than 1 were measured in solid phase and can justify the enhancement of U-234 in solution. Ra-226/Th-230 AR's greater than 1 and Th-230/U-234 AR'S less than 1 were evaluated between 20 and 27 m in depth, where a 2.1-m thick magnetite dike was intersected. These ratios could be justified by deposition of U and Ra associated with Fe-Mn oxides and kaolinite, where mineral saturation indices evaluated from the available data confirm this possibility. Covariations among disequilibria involving Th-228/(228) Ra and Ra-228/Th-232 AR's showed the preferential removal of Ra-228 relative to Tn isotopes, Th-228 and Th-232. The recent deposition of radium within the timescale of at least the last 35 years also is suggested. (C) 1998 Elsevier B.V. Ltd. All rights reserved.