Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/6564
Authors: Voltattorni, N.* 
Lombardi, S.* 
Rizzo, S.* 
Title: 222Rn and CO2 soil–gas geochemical characterization of thermally altered clays at
Journal: Applied Geochemistry 
Series/Report no.: /25 (2010)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2-Jun-2010
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2010.05.010
Keywords: soil-gas geochemistry
clay permeability
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.01. Geochemical exploration 
Abstract: The physical properties of clay allow argillaceous formations to be considered 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 clays of the Orciatico area (Tuscany, Central Italy), which were thermally altered via the intrusion of an alkali-trachyte laccolith, 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 to define both the geometry of the intrusive body and the gas permeability of a clay unit characterized by different degrees of thermal alteration. The results of this study show that gas permeability is increased in the clay sequences subjected to greater heat input from the emplacement of the Orciatico intrusion, despite the lack of apparent mineral and geotechnical variations. These results, which take into consideration long time periods in a natural, large-scale geological system, may have important implications for the long-term safety of underground storage of nuclear waste in clay formations.
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