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Catchment-scale distribution of radiocesium air dose rate in a mountainous deciduous forest and its relation to topography

Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Koarashi, Jun; Takeuchi, Erina; Tsuzuki, Katsunori; Nishimura, Shusaku; Matsunaga, Takeshi

We collected a large amount of radiocesium air dose rate data by mountain-walking with a small $$gamma$$-ray survey system, KURAMA-II, to create an air dose rate map of a mountainous deciduous forest that received radiocesium from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Measurements were conducted in a small stream catchment 0.6 km$$^{2}$$ in size in August and September 2013, and the relationship between air dose rates and the mountainous topography was examined. Air dose rates increased with elevation, suggesting that more radiocesium was deposited on ridges, and that it had remained there for 2.5 years with no significant migration due to soil erosion or water drainage. Slope aspect also strongly affected air dose rates. By the continuous measurement using KURAMA-II, we describe the variation in air dose rates in a mountainous area and suggest that it is important to consider topography when selecting sampling points to estimating dose rates or contaminant deposition.

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