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The chemical behavior of sedimentary uranium in Authie Bay (France)

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A general study on uranium present at trace levels in anoxic sediments derived from Authie Bay (in northern France) has been undertaken. For that purpose, concentrations of various uranium species in pore waters and recovered solutions (after mineralization of sediments) were determined by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. To access the extent of early diagenesis occurring in these sediments, reduced solid sulfur species were determined after their conversion into H2S gas following sequential extraction procedures. Our preliminary findings reveal that dissolved U(VI) precipitates rapidly with depth in pore waters certainly in the form of insoluble U(IV). Under stronger reducing conditions, new aqueous species [mostly and ] in which uranium is in oxidation state IV are formed in the pore water. Valuable interpretation of these particular properties of sedimentary U has necessitated a global examination of sediment biochemistry because of the influence of bacterial activities on the chemistry of Fe, Mn, S and more particularly U by metal-reducing bacteria.
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Keywords: Diagenesis; Iron; Manganese; Sediment; Speciation; Uranium

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Chimie Analytique et Marine ELICO UMR CNRS 8013 Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille 1 Bât C8 (2ème étage) 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex France 2: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique Laboratoire d'Analyses des Sols 273 rue de Cambrai 62000 Arras 3: VARIAN s.a. 7 avenue des Tropiques Z.A. Courtaboeuf B.P. 12 91941 Les Ulis Cedex 4: Université d'Artois I.U.T. de Béthune Département de Chimie Rue de l'Université B.P. 819 62408 Béthune Cedex France

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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