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An international programme, aimed at evaluating the feasibility of storing high level radioactive waste in deep sea sediments, conducted an expedition to two abyssal plains in the North Atlantic. A geochemical programme was designed to study chemical and physical processes in the upper 30 m of the sediment column and to collect samples for radionuclide adsorption and migration experiments. Pore water samples were recovered under a cold, inert atmosphere using three different extraction techniques. Shipboard laboratories conducted analyses for nutrients, iron, manganese, alkalinity, sulphide, pH and pE. Vertical and horizontal variations in the supply of organic carbon were found to alter redox processes which control the concentration and mobility of many of the measured parameters. Uptake of dissolved silica and manganese was observed in carbonate-rich sediment. Pore water advection has been estimated to be less than 1.0 E-3 m/year based on the nature of ammonia concentration profiles.

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Authors: STANNERS D A ET AL., JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Geoscience Investigations of Two North Atlantic Abyssal Plains: The ESOPE International Cruise, Vol. 2 (1989) pp. 655-680
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