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Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part I: Hydrogeological Setting and U Fluxes
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Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part II: Examples from Literature and a Conceptual Filter Model

North-West University, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa
Water 2011, 3(1), 323-355; https://doi.org/10.3390/w3010323
Published: 15 March 2011
As the second part of a series of four, this paper reviews a number of case studies of natural uranium attenuation in peat, as well as underlying chemical mechanisms reported in literature. Based on this review, a generic, conceptual, model for peat to act as filter for dissolved uranium (U) is developed for guiding subsequent field investigations. The model consists of a chemical and an hydraulic component which is derived largely from data reported in literature as well as from limited field observations. For the chemical model component 10 different processes, each controlled by factors relating to water chemistry, have been identified to govern the attenuation of U in peat via a net balance of immobilization and remobilization. For the hydraulic aspect of the filter model, five different principal modes of U polluted water coming in contact with peat are discussed, focusing on the associated peat-water contact time as a crucial parameter controlling chemical U attenuation. Moreover, links between the two model components are discussed and, based on the integrated conceptual model, possible effects of natural and anthropogenic events on U attenuation in peatlands are outlined. Guided by the model, various site-specific field and laboratory investigations are finally designed to verify how far the identified generic factors and processes are indeed applicable to the Gerhard Minnebron Peatland. View Full-Text
Keywords: uranium; peat; natural attenuation; conceptual model; immobilization; remobilization; water chemistry; hydraulic processes; Gerhard Minnebron; dolomitic karst uranium; peat; natural attenuation; conceptual model; immobilization; remobilization; water chemistry; hydraulic processes; Gerhard Minnebron; dolomitic karst
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Winde, F. Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part II: Examples from Literature and a Conceptual Filter Model. Water 2011, 3, 323-355.

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