Publication date: January 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 181
Author(s): Kexin Zhang, Shaoming Pan, Zhiyong Liu, Guosheng Li, Yihong Xu, Yongpei Hao
Activity concentration of plutonium (Pu) and its isotopic compositions are extensively used for measuring transport processes of Pu and identifying its source. We investigated the spatial distribution characteristics of 239+240Pu activity concentrations and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio in several sediment cores collected from the Liao River coastal zone. Additionally, we calculated the 239+240Pu inventories and based on the 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio to trace Pu source. The activity concentrations of 239+240Pu in surface sediments of the Liao River estuary ranged between 0.103 ± 0.008 and 0.978 ± 0.035 mBq/g, with an average of 0.294 ± 0.024 mBq/g. The 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios, ranging from 0.173 ± 0.047 to 0.215 ± 0.061 (mean: 0.188 ± 0.049 (1σ)), were consistent with global fallout value, which indicates the global atmospheric fallout is the main source of Pu in sediment cores from the both sides of Liao River estuary. As for the tidal flat core LT-2, the mean 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio, slightly higher than that of the global fallout value, was 0.217 ± 0.050. Such pattern of Pu isotopic compositions indicated that Pu on the tidal flat in the Liao River estuary is sourced from a combination of global fallout and close-in fallout from the PPG by ocean currents transporting. And by using a two end-member mixing model, the results indicate the relative contribution of the PPG close-in fallout to core LT-2 is round 27% and 73% can be attributed to global fallout and river input. Therefore, these results clearly indicate that the direct global fallout is the main source of Pu in the Liao River estuary.
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