Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 9, pp 3635–3642 | Cite as

Spatial and temporal variability of 234U/238U activity ratios in the Shu River, Central Asia

  • B. UralbekovEmail author
  • M. Burkitbayev
  • B. Satybaldiyev
  • I. Matveyeva
  • T. Tuzova
  • D. Snow
Original Article


This study presents the temporal and spatial variability of 234U/238U activity ratios in the Shu River and provides interpretation to explain the downstream changes of uranium and the 234U/238U activity ratios in the study area. The positive linear correlation (R 2 = 0.98, p < 0.001) between uranium concentration and specific electrical conductance is consistent with rock weathering and leaching as the major contributor of dissolved uranium in the studied area of the river. The 234U/238U activity ratio ranged between ~1.6 in the upper reaches of the river to ~1.15 furthest downstream. Activity ratios at specific sampling points do not show significant seasonal variability.


234U/238U activity ratios Uranium sources Uranium contamination The Shu River 



This work was funded under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan programme within project “Environmental Impact Assessment of Radionuclide Contamination Associated with Uranium Extraction by In-situ Method of Underground Leaching” (Registration number#0112RK02582).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Uralbekov
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Burkitbayev
    • 1
  • B. Satybaldiyev
    • 1
  • I. Matveyeva
    • 1
  • T. Tuzova
    • 2
  • D. Snow
    • 3
  1. 1.Marie Sklodowska-Curie Laboratory of Radiation EcologyAl-Farabi Kazakh National UniversityAlmatyKazakhstan
  2. 2.Institute of Water Problems and HydropowerBishkekKyrgyzstan
  3. 3.Nebraska Water Center and School of Natural Resources, 202 Water Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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