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Authors: Voltattorni, N.* 
Lombardi, S.* 
Rizzo, S.* 
Title: Soil-gas geochemistry as permeability tracer of thermally altered clays at Orciatico (Tuscany, Central Italy)
Issue Date: 2009
Keywords: gas migration
gas permeability
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.01. Geochemical exploration 
Abstract: The physical properties of clay allow to consider argillaceous formations as geological barriers to radionuclide migration in high-level radioactive-waste isolation systems. As laboratory simulations are short term and numerical models always involve assumptions and simplifications of the natural system, natural analogues are extremely attractive surrogates for the study of long-term isolation. The thermally altered clays of the Orciatico area (Tuscany, Central Italy) represent an interesting natural model of a heat source which acted on argillaceous materials. The study of this natural analogue was performed through detailed geoelectrical and soil-gas surveys in order to define both the geometry of the intrusive body and the gas permeability of a clay unit characterized by different thermal alteration degrees. In particular, soil-gas radon and carbon dioxide distributions highlighted that the clay sequences, in spite of their thickness and plasticity, if fractured and metamorphosed, form a lesser impermeable barrier for naturally migrating gas.
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