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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/598

Title: New explanation for extreme u-234 u-238 disequilibria in a dolomitic aquifer
Authors: Kronfeld, J
Vogel, JC
Talma, AS
Keywords: Disequilibrium
Hydrologic deduction
Dolomite aquifer
Uranium Isotopic fractionations
Issue Date: May-1994
Publisher: Elsevier Science BV
Citation: Kronfeld, J, Vogel, JC and Talma, AS. 1994. New explanation for extreme u-234 u-238 disequilibria in a dolomitic aquifer. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 123, 04 January, pp 81-93
Abstract: High U-234/U-238 activity ratios are found in the shallow groundwater of the phreatic Transvaal Dolomite Aquifer. The aquifer is uranium poor, while the waters are oxygen rich and young. Tritium and C-14 are used to show that the disequilibrium increases the longer the water resides in contact with the dolomite host. The Ra-228 and Rn-222 isotopes were used as supporting evidence that ion exchange between the U-238 series nuclides in the water and the carbonate wall rock is necessary in assisting in the fractionation process. The Wolkberg cave speleothems preserve a record of the uranium isotopic fractionations that evolved as water flowed through the aquifer. Extremely variable and elevated U-234/U-238 ratios (of 2-12) are characteristic. Individual caverns may exhibit very large U-234/U-238 variability in their drip water and in derivative carbonate precipitates (speleothems). Deeper chambers, where water has spent a longer time in contact with the aquifer, tend to exhibit a greater degree of uranium isotopic fractionation in their speleothems. The recorded fractionation process has been an ongoing one from at least the middle-late Pleistocene to the present. The speleothem study supports the contention that ion exchange processes that produce sufficient enrichment of uranium on carbonate can provide ideal conditions for generating uranium isotopic fractionation in the water of carbonate aquifers (in the absence of redox changes and within a uranium-poor environment).
Description: Copyright: 1994 Elsevier Science BV
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/598
ISSN: 0012-821X
Appears in Collections:Mining and geoscience
General science, engineering & technology

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