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Update: Searching for Uranium in the Copper State

Written by: Meena Said, Nicole Moore

Original article posted on 6/16/17.

In August of 2017, Meena Said and Nicole Moore, with the help of a GLOBES Mini-Grant, traveled to Paris, France, to present a poster on the Navajo Project at the Goldschmidt 2017 Conference.

The poster presentation focused on identifying the concentration of uranium contamination present around the Claim 28 mine and the origin of the contamination. They used high resolution and multi-collector ICP-MS techniques as part of their research.

The poster presentation was very successful and the geochemical community at Goldschmidt gave a great deal of constructive feedback concerning the research and future steps for the project.

In November, Luke Sadergaski will be traveling to Seattle, Washington, to present his Navajo soil leachate data at the Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting. His work focuses on the amount of uranium and lead in the soil that can be leached into a mobile aqueous phase when the soil is exposed to water that is representative of rain in the area, thus indicating how the metals move from soil to water contamination.

Future work will involve exploring potential water decontamination systems that could be implemented at Navajo residences to remove uranium from the water supplies.