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Minerals 2016, 6(1), 3;

Uranium-Series Disequilibria in the Groundwater of the Shihongtan Sandstone-Hosted Uranium Deposit, NW China

Department of Earth Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Mineral Deposit research, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Bureau of Geology, China National Nuclear Corporation, Beijing 100013, China
Northwest Institute of Uranium Geology, China National Nuclear Corporation, Xianyang 712000, China
Department of Geological Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Karen Hudson-Edwards
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 6 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uranium Minerals: From Resources to Environmental Impact)
PDF [1328 KB, uploaded 30 December 2015]


Uranium (U) concentration and the activities of 238U, 234U, and 230Th were determined for groundwaters, spring waters, and lake water collected from the Shihongtan sandstone-hosted U ore district and in the surrounding area, NW China. The results show that the groundwaters from the oxidizing aquifer with high dissolved oxygen concentration (O2) and oxidation-reduction potential (Eh) are enriched in U. The high U concentration of groundwaters may be due to the interaction between these oxidizing groundwaters and U ore bodies, which would result in U that is not in secular equilibrium. Uranium is re-precipitated as uraninite on weathered surfaces and organic material, forming localized ore bodies in the sandstone-hosted aquifer. The 234U/238U, 230Th/234U, and 230Th/238U activity ratios (ARs) for most water samples show obvious deviations from secular equilibrium (0.27–2.86), indicating the presence of water-rock/ore interactions during the last 1.7 Ma and probably longer. The 234U/238U AR generally increases with decreasing U concentrations in the groundwaters, suggesting that mixing of two water sources may occur in the aquifer. This is consistent with the fact that most of the U ore bodies in the deposit have a tabular shape originati from mixing between a relatively saline fluid and a more rapidly flowing U-bearing meteoric water. View Full-Text
Keywords: sandstone-hosted uranium deposit; groundwater; U-series disequilibrium; China sandstone-hosted uranium deposit; groundwater; U-series disequilibrium; China

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Peng, X.; Min, M.; Qiao, H.; Wang, J.; Fayek, M. Uranium-Series Disequilibria in the Groundwater of the Shihongtan Sandstone-Hosted Uranium Deposit, NW China. Minerals 2016, 6, 3.

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