Table of Contents
Minerals, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2018)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Artificial and singular geochemical environments are created around the engineered barrier systems [...] Read more. Artificial and singular geochemical environments are created around the engineered barrier systems (EBS) that are designed to isolate high-level nuclear wastes in deep geological repositories. A concrete-bentonite interface takes place within the EBS and produces a significant alkaline chemical environment. This paper discusses the formation of authigenic minerals, mostly Mg hydroxides and disordered hydrous Mg-silicates. They evolve to a saponitic composition through aging. This reactive system can be compared to the geochemical evolutionary reaction paths described in the formation of Mg-Clays as a common signature for natural alkaline-saline lacustrine environments found in semi-arid climates. It is also remarkable how the precipitation of these minerals buffers the pH, presumably preventing the progressive increase of pH to > 11 values and then protecting bentonite from further alteration. View this paper