Black shale is a black carbon and sulphur shale material, deposited about 500 million years ago. Black shale, as used in the proposal, includes both alum shale and clay shale containing carbon. The black shales contain quartz, illite, feldspars, carbonate s and pyrite minerals -uranium, radon, silver and vanadium, and other heavy metals. Black shales swell when disturbed from their natural deposition setting, resulting in damage to buildings, deterioration of steel and concrete, sulphur and heavy metal con tamination of the groundwater, emission of carcinogenic radon gas. There are also concerns about the best solution for disposal of black shales and what are the acceptable/tolerable limits for contaminant content in disposed masses.
The BLACK SHALE proje ct focuses on the entire life cycle of black shale, from its occurrence, engineering for construction, excavation, foundation design, contaminants, radon emission and short and long term environmental impact. Guidelines will be developed as a joint effort between several companies in Norway representing the entire sector, and with input from international actors with competence and experience on the topic.
Each partner will be asked to bring in their experience and case studies in the project, and a stat e-of-the-art report, using literature in addition, will be prepared. The research priorities will then be set as a joint effort, to reflect the needs of the profession. rsearch efforts will concentrate on a study of the swelling pressures, design methods for the foundations of buildings and for infrastructure, environmental assessment of the impact of black shales, and development of practical guidelines. The program wil include research by graduate students and publications of referred articles.