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The transport and fluvial redistribution of Chernobyl-derived radiocaesium within the River Wye basin, UK.

Rowan, J. S. and Walling, D. E. (1992) The transport and fluvial redistribution of Chernobyl-derived radiocaesium within the River Wye basin, UK. The Science of The Total Environment, 121. pp. 109-131.

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Abstract

Relatively little attention has been given to the long term prospect of fluvial transport processes redistributing Chernobyl-derived radiocaesium within the UK. Work undertaken within the Wye basin, central Wales, demonstrates a complex distribution of fallout at the catchment scale, with the bulk of the deposition concentrated in a narrow north-south band, situated in the west central areas of the basin, which contained in excess of 1500 Bq m−2 of 134Cs. Fluvial transport and redistribution of this material was demonstrated by river sampling during the winter of 1988/89, when the radiocaesium content of suspended sediment transported by the River Wye (≈ 30–50 mBq g−1 of 137Cs) remained 3–5-times higher than pre-Chernobyl levels. Floodplain reaches displayed variable levels of secondary contamination, dependent upon the upstream supply of radiocaesium and local morphological controls. Accordingly, the highest 134Cs inventories within the basin (> 6000 Bq m−2) were associated with rapidly accreting floodplain sites. A number of these sites experienced only limited amounts of direct atmospheric fallout. The importance of fluvial redistribution as a secondary contamination mechanism is thus highlighted.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: The Science of The Total Environment
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wye ; Chernobyl ; radiocaesium ; sediment-associated ; redistribution
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: UNSPECIFIED
ID Code: 22851
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 07 Jan 2009 13:07
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:07
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/22851

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