Plutonium in Soils from Northeast China and Its Potential Application for Evaluation of Soil Erosion

Yihong Xu, Jixin Qiao, Xiaolin Hou, Shaoming Pan

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    Surface and soil core samples from northeast China were analyzed for Pu isotopes. The measured 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratios and 239 1 240Pu/137Cs activity ratios revealed that the global fallout is the dominant source of Pu and 137Cs at these sites. Migration behavior of Pu varying with land type and human activities resulted in different distribution of Pu in surface soils. A sub-surface maximum followed by exponential decline of 239 1 240Pu concentrations was observed in an undisturbed soil core, with a total 239 1 240Pu inventory of 86.9 Bq/m2 and more than 85% accumulated in 0 , 20 cm layers. While only half inventory of Pu was obtained in another soil core and no sub-surface maximum value occurred. Erosion of topsoil in the site should be the most possible reason for the significantly lower Pu inventory, which is also supported by the reported 137Cs profiles. These results demonstrated that Pu could be applied as an ideal substitute of 137Cs for soil erosion study in the future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3506
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    • Geochemistry
    • Environmental monitoring

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