Uranium distribution in the coastal waters and pore waters of Tampa Bay, Florida

Marine Chemistry
By:  and 



The geochemical reactivity of uranium (238U) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), Fe, Mn, Ba, and V was investigated in the water column, pore waters, and across a river/estuarine mixing zone in Tampa Bay, Florida. This large estuary is impacted both by diverse anthropogenic activity and by extensive U-rich phosphatic deposits. Thus, the estuarine behavior of uranium may be examined relative to such known U enrichments and anthropogenic perturbations. Dissolved (< 0.45??m) uranium exhibited both removal and enrichment processes across the Alafia River/estuarine mixing zone relative to conservative mixing. Such non-conservative U behavior may be attributed to: i) physical mixing processes within the river; ii) U carrier phase reactivity; and/or iii) fluid exchange processes across sediment/water interface. In the bay proper, U concentrations were ?????2 to 3 times greater than those reported for other estuarine systems and are likely a result of erosional inputs from the extensive, underlying U-rich phosphatic deposits. Whereas dissolved U concentrations generally did not approach seawater values (13.6??nM) along the Alafia River salinity transect, water column U concentrations exceeded 16??nM in select regions of the bay. Within the hydrogeological framework of the bay, such enriched U may also be derived from advective fluid transport processes across the sediment/water interface, such as submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) or hyporheic exchange within coastal rivers. Pore water profiles of U in Tampa Bay show both a flux into and out of bottom sediments, and average, diffusive U pore water fluxes (Jdiff) ranged from - 82.0 to 116.6??mol d- 1. It is likely that negative U fluxes imply seawater entrainment or infiltration (i.e., submarine groundwater recharge), which may contribute to the removal of water column uranium. For comparison, a bay-wide, Ra-derived submarine groundwater discharge estimate for Tampa Bay (8??L m- 2 d- 1) yielded an average, advective (JSGD) U flux of 112.9??mol d- 1. In Tampa Bay, the estuarine distribution of U indicates a strong natural, geologic control that may also be influenced by enhanced fluid transport processes across the sediment/water interface. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Uranium distribution in the coastal waters and pore waters of Tampa Bay, Florida
Series title Marine Chemistry
DOI 10.1016/j.marchem.2006.06.016
Volume 102
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2006
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Marine Chemistry
First page 252
Last page 266
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