The occurrence and behavior of radium in saline formation water of the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

Isotope Geoscience
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Ra was measured in deep saline formation waters produced from a variety of US Gulf Coast subsurface environments, including oil and gas reservoirs, and water-producing geopressured aquifers. A strong positive correlation was found between formation-water salinity and Ra activity, resulting from the interaction of formation water with aquifer matrix. Ra isotopes enter the fluid phase after being produced by the decay of parent elements U and Th on and within the solid matrix. The processes believed to be primarily responsible for transfering Ra from matrix to formation water are chemical leaching and alpha -particle recoil. Factors controlling the observed salinity-Ra relationship may be one or a combination of the following: 1) ion exchange; 2) increased solubility of matrix silica surrounding Ra atoms, coupled with a salinity-controlled rate of re-equilibration of silica between solution and quartz grains; and 3) the equilibration of Ra in solution with detrital baryte within the aquifer. No difference was found in the brine-Ra relation in water produced from oil or gas wells and water produced from wells penetrating only water-bearing aquifers, although the relation was more highly correlated for water-bearing aquifers than hydrocarbon-containing reservoirs.-P.Br.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The occurrence and behavior of radium in saline formation water of the U.S. Gulf Coast region.
Series title Isotope Geoscience
Volume 2
Issue 2
Year Published 1984
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Isotope Geoscience
First page 153
Last page 174
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