Transient groundwater chemistry near a river: Effects on U(VI) transport in laboratory column experiments

Water Resources Research
By: , and 



In the 300 Area of a U(VI)-contaminated aquifer at Hanford, Washington, USA, inorganic carbon and major cations, which have large impacts on U(VI) transport, change on an hourly and seasonal basis near the Columbia River. Batch and column experiments were conducted to investigate the factors controlling U(VI) adsorption/desorption by changing chemical conditions over time. Low alkalinity and low Ca concentrations (Columbia River water) enhanced adsorption and reduced aqueous concentrations. Conversely, high alkalinity and high Ca concentrations (Hanford groundwater) reduced adsorption and increased aqueous concentrations of U(VI). An equilibrium surface complexation model calibrated using laboratory batch experiments accounted for the decrease in U(VI) adsorption observed with increasing (bi)carbonate concentrations and other aqueous chemical conditions. In the column experiment, alternating pulses of river and groundwater caused swings in aqueous U(VI) concentration. A multispecies multirate surface complexation reactive transport model simulated most of the major U(VI) changes in two column experiments. The modeling results also indicated that U(VI) transport in the studied sediment could be simulated by using a single kinetic rate without loss of accuracy in the simulations. Moreover, the capability of the model to predict U(VI) transport in Hanford groundwater under transient chemical conditions depends significantly on the knowledge of real-time change of local groundwater chemistry. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Transient groundwater chemistry near a river: Effects on U(VI) transport in laboratory column experiments
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/2010WR009369
Volume 47
Issue 4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Water Resources Research
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page