Plutonium as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China

Yihong Xu, Jixin Qiao, Shaoming Pan, Xiaolin Hou, Per Roos, Liguo Cao

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    Abstract

    Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental and agricultural problems faced by human society. Assessing intensity is an important issue for controlling soil erosion and improving eco-environmental quality. The suitability of the application of plutonium (Pu) as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China was investigated by comparing with that of 137Cs. Here we build on preliminary work, in which we investigated the potential of Pu as a soil erosion tracer by sampling additional reference sites and potential erosive sites, along the Liaodong Bay region in northeast China, for Pu isotopes and 137Cs. 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratios in all samples were approximately 0.18, which indicated that the dominant source of Pu was the global fallout. Pu showed very similar distribution patterns to those of 137Cs at both uncultivated and cultivated sites. 239+240Pu concentrations in all uncultivated soil cores followed an exponential decline with soil depth, whereas at cultivated sites, Pu was homogenously distributed in plow horizons. Factors such as planted crop types, as well as methods and frequencies of irrigation and tillage were suggested to influence the distribution of radionuclides in cultivated land. The baseline inventories of 239+240Pu and 137Cs were 88.4 and 1688Bqm-2 respectively. Soil erosion rates estimated by 239+240Pu tracing method were consistent with those obtained by the 137Cs method, confirming that Pu is an effective tracer with a similar tracing behavior to that of 137Cs for soil erosion assessment.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Volume511
    Pages (from-to)176-185
    Number of pages10
    ISSN0048-9697
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • 137Cs
    • Cultivated land
    • Northeast China
    • Pu isotopes
    • Soil erosion models
    • Tracing technique
    • Agricultural machinery
    • Agriculture
    • Cesium
    • Erosion
    • Isotopes
    • Land use
    • Plutonium
    • Cultivated lands
    • Distribution patterns
    • Eco-environmental quality
    • Soil erosion rate
    • Soil-erosion model
    • Uncultivated soil
    • Soils

    Cite this

    Xu, Yihong ; Qiao, Jixin ; Pan, Shaoming ; Hou, Xiaolin ; Roos, Per ; Cao, Liguo. / Plutonium as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2015 ; Vol. 511. pp. 176-185.
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    abstract = "Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental and agricultural problems faced by human society. Assessing intensity is an important issue for controlling soil erosion and improving eco-environmental quality. The suitability of the application of plutonium (Pu) as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China was investigated by comparing with that of 137Cs. Here we build on preliminary work, in which we investigated the potential of Pu as a soil erosion tracer by sampling additional reference sites and potential erosive sites, along the Liaodong Bay region in northeast China, for Pu isotopes and 137Cs. 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratios in all samples were approximately 0.18, which indicated that the dominant source of Pu was the global fallout. Pu showed very similar distribution patterns to those of 137Cs at both uncultivated and cultivated sites. 239+240Pu concentrations in all uncultivated soil cores followed an exponential decline with soil depth, whereas at cultivated sites, Pu was homogenously distributed in plow horizons. Factors such as planted crop types, as well as methods and frequencies of irrigation and tillage were suggested to influence the distribution of radionuclides in cultivated land. The baseline inventories of 239+240Pu and 137Cs were 88.4 and 1688Bqm-2 respectively. Soil erosion rates estimated by 239+240Pu tracing method were consistent with those obtained by the 137Cs method, confirming that Pu is an effective tracer with a similar tracing behavior to that of 137Cs for soil erosion assessment.",
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    author = "Yihong Xu and Jixin Qiao and Shaoming Pan and Xiaolin Hou and Per Roos and Liguo Cao",
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    Plutonium as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China. / Xu, Yihong; Qiao, Jixin; Pan, Shaoming; Hou, Xiaolin; Roos, Per; Cao, Liguo.

    In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 511, 2015, p. 176-185.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Plutonium as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China

    AU - Xu, Yihong

    AU - Qiao, Jixin

    AU - Pan, Shaoming

    AU - Hou, Xiaolin

    AU - Roos, Per

    AU - Cao, Liguo

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental and agricultural problems faced by human society. Assessing intensity is an important issue for controlling soil erosion and improving eco-environmental quality. The suitability of the application of plutonium (Pu) as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China was investigated by comparing with that of 137Cs. Here we build on preliminary work, in which we investigated the potential of Pu as a soil erosion tracer by sampling additional reference sites and potential erosive sites, along the Liaodong Bay region in northeast China, for Pu isotopes and 137Cs. 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratios in all samples were approximately 0.18, which indicated that the dominant source of Pu was the global fallout. Pu showed very similar distribution patterns to those of 137Cs at both uncultivated and cultivated sites. 239+240Pu concentrations in all uncultivated soil cores followed an exponential decline with soil depth, whereas at cultivated sites, Pu was homogenously distributed in plow horizons. Factors such as planted crop types, as well as methods and frequencies of irrigation and tillage were suggested to influence the distribution of radionuclides in cultivated land. The baseline inventories of 239+240Pu and 137Cs were 88.4 and 1688Bqm-2 respectively. Soil erosion rates estimated by 239+240Pu tracing method were consistent with those obtained by the 137Cs method, confirming that Pu is an effective tracer with a similar tracing behavior to that of 137Cs for soil erosion assessment.

    AB - Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental and agricultural problems faced by human society. Assessing intensity is an important issue for controlling soil erosion and improving eco-environmental quality. The suitability of the application of plutonium (Pu) as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China was investigated by comparing with that of 137Cs. Here we build on preliminary work, in which we investigated the potential of Pu as a soil erosion tracer by sampling additional reference sites and potential erosive sites, along the Liaodong Bay region in northeast China, for Pu isotopes and 137Cs. 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratios in all samples were approximately 0.18, which indicated that the dominant source of Pu was the global fallout. Pu showed very similar distribution patterns to those of 137Cs at both uncultivated and cultivated sites. 239+240Pu concentrations in all uncultivated soil cores followed an exponential decline with soil depth, whereas at cultivated sites, Pu was homogenously distributed in plow horizons. Factors such as planted crop types, as well as methods and frequencies of irrigation and tillage were suggested to influence the distribution of radionuclides in cultivated land. The baseline inventories of 239+240Pu and 137Cs were 88.4 and 1688Bqm-2 respectively. Soil erosion rates estimated by 239+240Pu tracing method were consistent with those obtained by the 137Cs method, confirming that Pu is an effective tracer with a similar tracing behavior to that of 137Cs for soil erosion assessment.

    KW - 137Cs

    KW - Cultivated land

    KW - Northeast China

    KW - Pu isotopes

    KW - Soil erosion models

    KW - Tracing technique

    KW - Agricultural machinery

    KW - Agriculture

    KW - Cesium

    KW - Erosion

    KW - Isotopes

    KW - Land use

    KW - Plutonium

    KW - Cultivated lands

    KW - Distribution patterns

    KW - Eco-environmental quality

    KW - Soil erosion rate

    KW - Soil-erosion model

    KW - Uncultivated soil

    KW - Soils

    U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.006

    DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.006

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 511

    SP - 176

    EP - 185

    JO - Science of the Total Environment

    JF - Science of the Total Environment

    SN - 0048-9697

    ER -