Thorium content in soil, water and sediment samples and fluvial sediment-associated transport in a catchment system with a semi-arid interface, Brazil

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Nascimento, R. C., da Silva, Yuri J. A. B., do Nascimento, C. W. A., da Silva, Ygor J. A. B., da Silva, R. J. A. B. and Collins, A. L. 2019. Thorium content in soil, water and sediment samples and fluvial sediment-associated transport in a catchment system with a semi-arid interface, Brazil. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. pp. 1-9.

AuthorsNascimento, R. C., da Silva, Yuri J. A. B., do Nascimento, C. W. A., da Silva, Ygor J. A. B., da Silva, R. J. A. B. and Collins, A. L.
Abstract

Thorium (Th) is one of the main sources of natural radiation to ecosystems. However, data regarding Th concentrations in rocks, soil, water and sediments are currently scarce. Accordingly, this study aimed to establish background concentrations and quality reference values (QRVs) for Th in the environmentally impacted Ipojuca River catchment in Brazil, where the weathering of granites releases Th into the environment. Additionally, the study aimed to calculate Th fluxes in water, and both bed and suspended sediment. The mean Th concentration in the study catchment soils was 28.6 mg kg−1. The QRV for Th was estimated to be 21 mg kg−1 and 86.3 Bq kg−1. Bed and suspended sediment–associated concentrations ranged from 2.8 to 32.9 mg kg−1. Suspended sediment–associated discharge (3.42 t year−1) accounted for more than 99% of the total Th flux, while the dissolved phase transport was negligible in comparison. At the downstream cross section in the study catchment, suspended sediment samples exhibited Th concentrations similar to those observed in rivers impacted by mining activities. The discharge of sediment to the ocean from the study area is mainly triggered by soil erosion processes in the hotspot region (middle-inferior course). It is essential to identify Th hotspots before establishing environmental policies regarding human health and environmental protection.

KeywordsQuality reference values; Environmental quality; Watershed; Th hotspot; Sediment-associated transport; Soil erosion processes
Year of Publication2019
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Journal citationpp. 1-9
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s11356-019-06499-8
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Publisher copyright
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright license
CC BY-NC-ND
Output statusE-publication ahead of print
Publication dates
Online02 Oct 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted10 Sep 2019
PublisherSpringer Heidelberg
ISSN0944-1344

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