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Environmental mobility of radiocaesium in the Pripyat catchment, Ukraine/Belarus

Burrough, Peter A.; van der Perk, Marcel; Howard, Brenda J.; Prister, Boris S.; Sansone, Umberto; Voitsekhovitch, Oleg V.. 1999 Environmental mobility of radiocaesium in the Pripyat catchment, Ukraine/Belarus. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 110 (1-2). 35-55. 10.1023/A:1005028729330

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Abstract/Summary

Evidence from research in the Pripyat catchment, reviewed here, indicates that under the ecological conditions prevalent in this area, radiocaesium (137Cs) is highly mobile in both river water and poorly drained organic soils. Data collected at three different spatial and temporal scales demonstrate the effects of hydrological events on 137Cs mobility. During the period 1988–1994, 137Cs contamination in some poorly drained organic soils in the Pripyat catchment and in the milk from cows grazing on these soils are generally declining much faster than the radioactive half life. However, sharp increases in levels of 137Cs in both floodplain soils and milk to 2–3 times that observed immediately after the initial deposition have been measured immediately after summer floods. The processes causing these observed changes have not yet been fully explained but the sites where enhanced 137Cs mobility has been detected are clearly associated with the spatial patterns of organic soils and river flooding.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1023/A:1005028729330
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0049-6979
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 24 May 2012 08:52
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/17774

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