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Microbiological influences on fracture surfaces of intact mudstone and the implications for geological disposal of radioactive waste

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2018

H. Harrison
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
D. Wagner
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
H. Yoshikawa
Affiliation:
Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Muramatsu 4-33, Tokai-mura, 319-1194 Ibaraki, Japan
J. M. West
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
A. E. Milodowski
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
Y. Sasaki
Affiliation:
Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Muramatsu 4-33, Tokai-mura, 319-1194 Ibaraki, Japan
G. Turner
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
A. Lacinska
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
S. Holyoake
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
J. Harrington
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
D. Noy
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
P. Coombs
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
K. Bateman
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
K. Aoki
Affiliation:
Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), 2-432 Hokushin Horonobe-cho, Teshio-gun, Hokkaido, 098-3224, Japan
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

The significance of the potential impacts of microbial activity on the transport properties of host rocks for geological repositories is an area of active research. Most recent work has focused on granitic environments. This paper describes pilot studies investigating changes in transport properties that are produced by microbial activity in sedimentary rock environments in northern Japan. For the first time, these short experiments (39 days maximum) have shown that the denitrifying bacteria, Pseudomonas denitrificans, can survive and thrive when injected into flow-through column experiments containing fractured diatomaceous mudstone and synthetic groundwater under pressurized conditions. Although there were few significant changes in the fluid chemistry, changes in the permeability of the biotic column, which can be explained by the observed biofilm formation, were quantitatively monitored. These same methodologies could also be adapted to obtain information from cores originating from a variety of geological environments including oil reservoirs, aquifers and toxic waste disposal sites to provide an understanding of the impact of microbial activity on the transport of a range of solutes, such as groundwater contaminants and gases (e.g. injected carbon dioxide).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2011

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