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Comparison of microbiological influences on the transport properties of intact mudstone and sandstone and its relevance to the geological disposal of radioactive waste

Wragg, Joanna; Harrison, Heather; West, Julia M.; Yoshikawa, Hideki. 2012 Comparison of microbiological influences on the transport properties of intact mudstone and sandstone and its relevance to the geological disposal of radioactive waste. Mineralogical Magazine, 76 (8). 10.1180/minmag.2012.076.8.38

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Abstract/Summary

The role of the microbial activity on the transport properties of host rocks for geological repositories, particularly in the far-field, is an area of active research. This paper compares results from experiments investigating changes in transport properties caused by microbial activity in sedimentary rocks in Japan(mudstones and sandstone (UK).These experiments show that both Pseudomonas denitrificans and Pseudomonas aeruginosa appear to survive and thrive in pressurized flow-through column experiments which utilized host rock materials of relevance to radioactive waste disposal. Indeed, despite there being a difference in the numbers of organisms introduced into both biotic experiments, numbers appear to stabilize at ~10e5 per litre at their completion. Post experimental imaging has highlighted the distinct differences in biofilm morphology, for the chosen rock types and bacteria, with Pseudomonas aeruginosa derived biofilms completely covering the surface of the sandstone host and Pseudomonas denitrificans forming biofilament structures. Regardless of substrate host or choice of microbe, microbial activity results in measurable changes in permeability. Such activity appears to influence changes in fluid flow and suggests that the transport of radionuclides through the far-field will be complicated by the presence of microbes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1180/minmag.2012.076.8.38
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Minerals and waste
ISSN: ISSN 0026-461X, Online ISSN: 1471-8022
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 29 Jan 2013 11:39 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/21278

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