Landscape-scale controls on the spatial distribution of caesium 137: a study based on an airborne geophysical survey across Northern Ireland

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Rawlins, B. G., Scheib, C., Beamish, D., Webster, R., Tyler, A. N. and Young, M. E. 2011. Landscape-scale controls on the spatial distribution of caesium 137: a study based on an airborne geophysical survey across Northern Ireland. Earth Surface Processes And Landforms. 36 (2), pp. 158-169.

AuthorsRawlins, B. G., Scheib, C., Beamish, D., Webster, R., Tyler, A. N. and Young, M. E.
Abstract

The spatial distribution of (137)Cs across the landscape and the processes controlling its redistribution are of interest because (i) (137)Cs has been widely used to quantify the movement of soil and sediments and (ii) substantial fallout of (137)Cs after the Chernobyl accident has led to contamination of foodstuffs in some places. A high-resolution airborne geophysical radiometric survey of Northern Ireland has provided an opportunity to study the distribution and possible redistribution of (137)Cs. The (137)Cs activity (recorded at 1.2 million points) is distributed in a series of bands oriented approximately 160 degrees and 115 degrees clockwise from north. Geostatistical analysis of the data shows a strong, short-range structure (correlation ranges between 0.6 and 8 km) in (137)Cs activity across the vast majority of the region; the spatial distribution shows association with a published, coarse-scale depositional pattern of (137)Cs from Chernobyl. Two indices of land form derived from a digital elevation model, namely compound topographic index and the length-slope factor of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, account for only 3% of the variance in (137)Cs activity. In contrast, soil type and land cover in combination (including their interaction) account for 20% of the variance. In areas that received moderate fallout from Chernobyl, soil type alone accounts for a substantial proportion of the spatially correlated (137)Cs activity. We attribute this to each soil type having a fairly uniform radiocaesium interception potential that differs from those of other soil types and that this potential controls the vertical migration of (137)Cs. Over the granitic Mourne Mountains there is a strong spatial cross-correlation between (137)Cs activity and airborne estimates of soil potassium, suggesting that the latter provides a measure of the soil's radiocaesium interception potential; this is probably dominated by the quantity of the mineral illite. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and British Geological Survey

KeywordsGeography, Physical; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Year of Publication2011
JournalEarth Surface Processes And Landforms
Journal citation36 (2), pp. 158-169
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/esp.2026
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderDepartment of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for Northern Ireland
Funder project or codeCentre for Mathematical and Computational Biology (MCB)
Sampling and estimating spatial processes
ISSN01979337
PublisherWiley

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/8q7q6/landscape-scale-controls-on-the-spatial-distribution-of-caesium-137-a-study-based-on-an-airborne-geophysical-survey-across-northern-ireland

Restricted files

Publisher's version

Under embargo indefinitely

7 total views
1 total downloads
0 views this month
0 downloads this month