Research objectives and content
The main objective of this project consists in the study and modeling of contamination processes by heavy metals. For this purpose, the Re/Os system together with 137Cs will be used in two selected areas (the Rhine river in Germany and the Tinto and Odiel rivers in Spain) for which there exist previous or ongoing studies of elemental geochemistry and pollution by heavy metals.
The first step will be to improve the chemical treatment, extraction, and measurement of Re/Os in sediments. Subsequently, the isotopic signature of the pollution sources will be characterized and the degree of sediment pollution in the two selected areas will be evaluated. Finally, the processes by which the pollutants are diluted or concentrated upon arriving at the outlet of these rivers will be studied, and, if possible, the way these pollutants can enter the living organisms that inhabit these areas will be evaluated.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The training objective of this research project will be to acquire and important knowledge (theory and laboratory experience) in the field of isotope geology, together with the use of these knowledge to understand and model the mobility of heavy metals in contaminated areas. This will allow me in the future, from one side, to establish a radiogenic isotope laboratory in my own country (where this field is just starting and there is no laboratories for analysing isotopic systems such as Re/Os), and from the other side to develop a new and promising method to evaluate contamination processes by heavy metals in mining and industrial areas.