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Prediction of 137Cs deposition from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests within the Arctic

Wright, S.M.; Howard, B.J.; Strand, P.; Nylén, T.; Sickel, M.A.K.. 1999 Prediction of 137Cs deposition from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests within the Arctic. Environmental Pollution, 104 (1). 131-143. 10.1016/S0269-7491(98)00140-7

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Abstract/Summary

A method of predicting the spatial distribution of 137Cs deposition in fallout in the Arctic from atmosphericnuclear weapons testing, developed during the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), is described. The method uses a relationship between deposition and precipitation at Tromsø (Norway) calculated for each year since 1955, which is spread over the Arctic using a global precipitation data set within a geographical information system. The advantages of this approach include the ability to cover the whole Arctic area and to predict 137Cs deposition, either integrated or decay corrected (cumulative), for any 0.5×0.5° unit for any year. For land north of 60°N, the areas with the lowest estimated ground 137Cs deposition from nuclear weapons testing are the Russian far north east, north Greenland and northern Canada. The highest estimated ground deposition occurred in the coastal areas of Alaska, the southern tip of Greenland, western Canada, Iceland and the western coast of Norway. Predicted differences in the spatial distribution of global fallout are generally consistent with the trends observed by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and with reported measurements in the region above 60°N. A comparison of the predicted cumulative 137Cs deposition with measured values gave a significant correlation (p<0.001). However, the current predicted deposition would probably underestimate global fallout deposition in areas receiving little precipitation and areas close to the test site

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S0269-7491(98)00140-7
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: radioecology, radiocaesium, atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, Arctic, geographical information systems
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 28 May 2012 12:52
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/17768

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