Project: Mobilization and redox-cycling of uranium in two boreal sulfidic landscapes
The overall aim of this project is to explore and investigate the biogeochemical processes that control the release, transport, and environmental fate of uranium (a highly carcinogenic and toxic radionuclide) in two sulfidic landscapes (acid sulfate soil and black shale) in northern Europe. Both lab-based experiments and field studies will be carried out.
Facts about the project
Full project name Mobilization and redox-cycling of uranium in two boreal sulfidic landscapes: the impacts of Fe-S mineralization pathways and wet-dry cycles Project manager Changxun Yu Other project members Mark Dopson, Anders Johnson och Mats Åström, Linnaeus University; Jean-François Boily, Umeå University; Viktor Sjöberg, Kristina Åhlgren och Bert Allard, Örebro University; Edward Burton, Southern Cross University; Carl-Magnus Morth, Stockholm University Participating organizations Linnaeus University, Örebro University, Southern Cross University, Stockholm University Financier The Swedish Research Council Formas Timetable 1 jan 2021–31 dec 2024 Subject Environmental science (Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences) Research group Environmental Geochemistry
More about the project
Oxidative weathering of acid sulfate soil and black shale occurs in many places worldwide and releases large quantities of acidity and highly toxic uranium into surrounding environments. Nowadays, many acid sulfate soils have been drained to increase agricultural production, while groundwater in black shale aquifers has been extracted for irrigation/drinking purposes. Intensified weather extremes caused by climatic change will further enhance the geographical area, depth penetration, and chemical leaching of these problematic materials. In turn, this will threaten the drinking water supplies, in particular in densely populated coastal areas where clean water is in high demand.
The proposed project seeks to gain a molecular understanding of biogeochemical cycling of uranium along with the biological critical elements (sulfur and iron) in boreal acid sulfate soil and black shale landscapes. The integration of experimental and field-based studies using a wide range of biogeochemical and spectroscopic-microscopic tools will yield a wealth of information on the intimate interactions between microorganisms and water/minerals that dictate mobility and redox-cycling of uranium in these two landscapes. The obtained information can be used to minimize the dispersion of uranium in these two landscapes, by enhancing (i) uranium retention processes within black shale and acid sulfate soils; and (ii) uranium attenuation processes in associated sedimentary environments.