Uranium isotopes in surface waters from southern Africa

J. Kronfeld*, J. C. Vogel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 234U 238U activity ratio in river water in southern Africa is generally higher than that reported for rivers in other regions of the world. This is interpreted as due to the prevailing environmental conditions: in this warm dry region mechanical weathering predominates over chemical weathering, causing the isotope activity ratio of leached uranium to be, on average, 2.03 ± 0.42 as compared to a ratio of 1.20 for river water in the more humid tropical and temperate regions. The isotopic composition of leachable uranium from river sediment is similar to that in the water. Rivers draining the Witwatersrand gold and uranium mining area clearly show pollution inputs characterised by high uranium content and low activity ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 1991


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