Physicochemical and mineralogical characteristics of soil/saprolite cores from a field research site, Tennessee

Debra Phillips, J-W. Moon, Y. Roh, T.J. Phelps, D.B. Watson, Y-J. Kim, S.C. Brooks

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    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Site characterization is an essential initial step in determining the feasibility of remedial alternatives at hazardous waste sites. Physicochemical and mineralogical characterization of U-contaminated soils in deeply weathered saprolite at Area 2 of the DOE Field Research Center (FRC) site, Oak Ridge, TN, was accomplished to examine the feasibility of bioremediation. Concentrations of U in soil–saprolite (up to 291 mg kg–1 in oxalate-extractable Uo) were closely related to low pH (ca. 4–5), high effective cation exchange capacity without Ca (64.7–83.2 cmolc kg–1), amorphous Mn content (up to 9910 mg kg–1), and the decreased presence of relative clay mineral contents in the bulk samples (i.e., illite 2.5–12 wt. %, average 32 wt. %). The pH of the fill material ranged from 7.0 to 10.5, whereas the pH of the saprolite ranged from 4.5 to 8. Uranium concentration was highest (about 300 mg kg–1) at around 6 m below land surface near the saprolite–fill interface. The pH of ground water at Area 2 tended to be between 6 and 7 with U concentrations of about 0.9 to 1.7 mg L–1. These site specific characteristics of Area 2, which has lower U and nitrate contamination levels and more neutral ground water pH compared with FRC Areas 1 and 3 (ca. 5.5 and
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1731-1741
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Environmental Chemistry


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