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Processes affecting long-term changes in $$^{137}$$Cs concentration in surface sediments off Fukushima

Otosaka, Shigeyoshi 

Based on monitoring data from 71 stations off the coast of Fukushima, Miyagi and Ibaraki Prefectures, changing tendencies of $$^{137}$$Cs concentration in surface (0-10 cm) sediment are analyzed, and primary processes affecting the temporal changes are determined. In the coastal region (water depth $$<$$ 100m), between 2011 and 2015, concentrations of $$^{137}$$Cs in the surface sediment decreased at the rate of 27% per year in average. Such a remarkable temporal change in the $$^{137}$$Cs concentration of sedimentary radiocesium was not observed in the offshore regions. By applying observed data of vertical distribution of sedimentary $$^{137}$$Cs into a pulse input sediment mixing model, it was estimated that more than a half of the decreasing effect was explained by vertical mixing of $$^{137}$$Cs-bound surface sediment with less-contaminated sediment in the deeper layers.

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Category:Oceanography

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