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The long-term environmental behaviour of strontium and barium released from former mine workings in the granites of the Sunart region of Scotland, UK

Davidson, Christine M., Gibson, Mark D., Hamilton, Elaine, MacGillivray, Brian, Reglinski, John and Rezabal, Elixabete 2005. The long-term environmental behaviour of strontium and barium released from former mine workings in the granites of the Sunart region of Scotland, UK. Chemosphere 58 (6) , pp. 793-798. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2004.08.101

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Abstract

The concentrations of strontium and barium have been measured in water, sediment and the shells of mussels (Mytilus edulis) from a river system in the Sunart region of Scotland, UK. The aim was to establish the fate and mobility of these elements, which are slowly being released from old mine workings on the Strontian granites. Enhanced strontium (1500–2000 μg l−1 and 250–290 μg l−1) and barium concentrations (316 μg l−1 and 83 μg l−1) were found in the waters originating from the two mine drains studied. Both element were also found at significant levels in the river sediments taken from the vicinity of each drainage site (Sr: 225 μg g−1 and 120–125 μg g−1; Ba: 1380 μg g−1 and 126–170 μg g−1). The data suggests that the sediments are acting as a reservoir for these group II cations from where they become distributed throughout the river system. Strontium is found to be incorporated into the shells (3.16–3.46 μg g−1) and pearls (3.57 μg g−1) of the blue mussel, located at the estuarine margin some 10 km downstream, at values close to the maximum expected (3.3% by weight of the calcium content). The study presents a view of the fate of barium and strontium in a river system over a prolonged period of time. As such it provides valuable information for studies that seek to model the impact of the accidental release of barium and strontium (including the important radionuclide 90Sr) into the environment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0045-6535
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/71968

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