Prediction of spatial variation in global fallout of 137Cs using precipitation

Palsson, S. E.; Howard, B. J.; Wright, S. M.. 2006 Prediction of spatial variation in global fallout of 137Cs using precipitation. Science of the Total Environment, 367 (2-3). 745-756.

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Deposition from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests (termed global fallout) has been shown to be proportional to the rate of precipitation. Here we describe methods for using precipitation and radionuclide deposition information for a reference site to estimate global fallout at other locations. These methods have been used to estimate global fallout in Iceland, identified during the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) by Wright et al. [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. Environ Pollut 104, 131–143.] as one of the Arctic areas which received the highest global fallout, but where measurements of contamination were sparse, and difficult to obtain due to the remote and inaccessible terrain of much of the country. Measurements of global fallout 137Cs deposition have been made in Iceland at sites close to meteorological stations to ensure that precipitation data were of high quality. The AMAP modeling approach, based on measured precipitation and radionuclide deposition data, was applied using a reference monitoring station located close to Reykjavik. The availability of good precipitation data and locally based estimates of time dependent ratios of 137Cs deposition to precipitation during the fallout period gave a better correlation between predicted and measured 137Cs global fallout (r2 = 0.96) than that achieved using the much more heterogeneous set of data collected by AMAP over the whole of the Arctic. Having obtained satisfactory results with the model for a number of calibration sites alongside meteorological stations we then produced a map of estimated 137Cs deposition based on a model of estimated precipitation. This deposition map was then successfully validated (r2 = 0.85) for sites where 137Cs deposition was measured; the associated uncertainty in predictions was also estimated

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0048-9697
Format Availability: Electronic, Print
Additional Keywords: Radiocaesium, Global fallout, Precipitation, Deposition, Deposition estimates, Deposition density, radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 02 Jul 2007 09:24 +0 (UTC)

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