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Recent 210 Pb, 137 Cs and 241 Am accumulation in an ombrotrophic peatland from Amsterdam Island (Southern Indian Ocean)

Li, Chuxian and Le Roux, Gaël and Sonke, Jeroen E. and Van Beek, Pieter and Souhaut, Marc and Van der Putten, Nathalie and De Vleeschouwer, François Recent 210 Pb, 137 Cs and 241 Am accumulation in an ombrotrophic peatland from Amsterdam Island (Southern Indian Ocean). (2017) Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 175-176. 164-169. ISSN 0265-931X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.05.004


Over the past 50 years, 210Pb, 137Cs and 241Am have been abundantly used in reconstructing recent sediment and peat chronologies. The study of global aerosol-climate interaction is also partially depending on our understanding of 222Rn-210Pb cycling, as radionuclides are useful aerosol tracers. However, in comparison with the Northern Hemisphere, few data are available for these radionuclides in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in the South Indian Ocean. A peat core was collected in an ombrotrophic peatland from the remote Amsterdam Island (AMS) and was analyzed for 210Pb, 137Cs and 241Am radionuclides using an underground ultra-low background gamma spectrometer. The 210Pb Constant Rate of Supply (CRS) model of peat accumulations is validated by peaks of artificial radionuclides (137Cs and 241Am) that are related to nuclear weapon tests. We compared the AMS 210Pb data with an updated 210Pb deposition database. The 210Pb flux of 98 ± 6 Bq·m−2·y−1 derived from the AMS core agrees with data from Madagascar and South Africa. The elevated flux observed at such a remote location may result from the enhanced 222Rn activity and frequent rainfall in AMS. This enhanced 222Rn activity itself may be explained by continental air masses passing over southern Africa and/or Madagascar. The 210Pb flux at AMS is higher than those derived from cores collected in coastal areas in Argentina and Chile, which are areas dominated by marine westerly winds with low 222Rn activities. We report a 137Cs inventory at AMS of 144 ± 13 Bq·m−2 (corrected to 1969). Our data thus contribute to the under-represented data coverage in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-03512169
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National d'Études Spatiales - CNES (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Lund University (SWEDEN)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:11 Dec 2018 12:44

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