Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Committee Member

Charalambos Papelis

Number of Pages



The migration and distribution of contaminants in the subsurface environment are controlled by groundwater movement and the extent of interaction between the contaminants and surrounding rock matrix. Studies have shown that diffusion through the rock matrix may serve as a prominent contaminant retardation mechanism in crystalline igneous rocks; The diffusion of reactive and nonreactive solutes through basalt and breccia cores from the Cannikin Test Site, Amchitka Island, Alaska has been studied. Lead (Pb(II)) and cesium (Cs(I)) were chosen as reactive solutes and bromide (Br-) was chosen as the nonreactive solute. Because retardation due to sorption is expected to affect the apparent diffusion of the reactive solutes, batch equilibrium experiments were performed using Pb(II) and Cs(I) in order to determine equilibrium distribution coefficients. Two different experimental setups were used to estimate diffusion coefficients. The results show that diffusion of the ions through the basalt was slower than through the breccia.


Alaska; Amchitka; Cannikin; Cores; Diffusion; Island; Modeling; Nonreactive; Reactive; Site; Solutes; Test

Controlled Subject

Geochemistry; Environmental sciences

File Format


File Size

4.00 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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