Uranium isotopes in carbonate aquifers of arid region setting
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Groundwater in arid and semiarid regions is vital resource for many uses and therefore information about concentrations of uranium isotopes among other chemical parameters are necessary. In the study presented here, distribution of 238U and 235U in groundwater of four selected locations in the southern Arabian peninsula, namely at two locations within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and two locations in Oman are discussed. The analyses of the uranium isotopes were performed using ICP-MS and the results indicated a range of concentrations for 235U and 238 U at 3–39 ng L−1 (average: 18 ng L−1) and 429–5,293 ng L−1 (average: 2,508 ng L−1) respectively. These uranium concentrations are below the higher permissible WHO limit for drinking water and also comparable to averages found in groundwater from similar aquifers in Florida and Tunisia. Negative correlation between rainfall and uranium concentrations suggests that in lithologically comparable aquifers, climate may influence the concentration of uranium in subtropical to arid regions.
KeywordsRadioactivity Uranium isotopes Carbonate aquifers Arid region UAE Oman
The authors thank the Emirates Foundation for generous financial support to part of the study. We also thank Osman Abdulla and Rashid Al Ibri from Sultan Qaboos University for the help with sampling groundwater in Oman.
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