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  • Evidence from mineralogy and geochemistry for the evolution of groundwater system during the quaternary for use in radioactive waste repository safety assessment (EQUIP project)


The EQUIP project ('Evidence from QUaternary Infills for Palaeohydrogeology') was parried out between February 1997 and January 2000.

In order to consider the future behaviour of a groundwater system over timescales of relevance to repository safety assessment, it is necessary to develop an understanding of how the groundwater system has changed over time ('palaeohydrogeology').

The project set out to develop methodologies for obtaining palaeohydrogeological information from recently formed calcite mineralisation. Mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic methods were used on samples from sites in England, Finland, France, Spain and Sweden that have different climate histories and various types of geological conditions.

The results focus on the morphology and bulk compositions of calcite, compositional zoning of calcite crystals, and compositions fluid inclusions. There are systematic variations in bulk compositions with depth and also in discrete compositional fluctuations, or 'zones', in individual calcite crystals. These are inferred to reflect changes in co-existing water chemistry, especially redox conditions, over the period of crystal growth.

Improvements in methodologies provide new information for geochemical changes in groundwater systems over time. This type of information increases understanding of how systems have evolved in the past and of whether there are possibilities of changes in the future that affect performance assessments of radioactive waste repositories.

Additional information

Authors: BATH A, Golder Associates Ltd, Nottingham, (GB);MILODOWSKI A, BGS,Nottingham, (GB);RUOTSALAINEN P, Fintact Oy, Helsinki, (FI);TULLBORG E, Terralogica AB, Grabo, (SE);CORTES RUIZ A, Enresa, Madrit, (ES);ARANYOSSY J, ANDRA, Chatenay-Malabry, (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19613 EN (2000) 157pp. Euro: 26.50
Availability: Available from the European Commission, DG XII Communication Unit, rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200, B-1049 Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32-2-2951589 Fax:+32-2-2958220
ISBN: ISBN 92-894-0120-6
Record Number: 200012965 / Last updated on: 2000-12-18
Original language: en
Available languages: en