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Radioelement Migration in Natural and Mined Phosphate Terrains



The phosphatic strata of the Central Florida Phosphate District are enriched in uranium, along with all of its daughters, including thorium-230 and radium-226. Some of the surface and shallow aquifer waters have higher than average concentrations of radium, this being especially pronounced in the down-flow direction of aquifer water movement. However, most of the shallow and deep aquifer waters of the mining district, as well as surface waters, are within normal range in terms of the radioelement content. In the course of mining operations, it appears that the natural pattern is not greatly altered, except in the immediate pit and spoil areas. As a result of mining and processing operation, most of the radioelements accumulate in the waste clays.