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Report No.

Sinking fluxes of radiocesium off Fukushima

Otosaka, Shigeyoshi ; Sato, Yuhi; Suzuki, Takashi; Narita, Hisashi*

A sediment trap experiment was conducted between August 2011 and July 2013 and sinking particles were collected at 100 km east of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Sinking flux of $$^{137}$$Cs was the highest in September 2011 (98 mBq/m$$^{2}$$/day), and decreased over time with seasonal fluctuation. The sinking fluxes of particulate radiocesium were controlled by two modes. One was a rapid sinking of radiocesium-bound particles (summer mode). This mode was dominant especially in the early post-accident stage, and was presumed to establish the distribution of radiocesium in the offshore seabed. Another was the secondary transport of particles attributed to turbulence near the seabed and was observed in winter (winter mode). Although the latter process would not change the distribution of sedimentary radiocesium drastically, attention should be paid as a key process redistributing the accident-derived radiocesium over a long duration.



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