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Report No.
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Radiocesium distribution in aggregate-size fractions of cropland and forest soils affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident

Koarashi, Jun; Nishimura, Shusaku; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Matsunaga, Takeshi*; Sato, Tsutomu*; Nagao, Seiya*

There is little understanding of how soil aggregation can affect the mobility and bioavailability of $$^{137}$$Cs in soils. To explore this, soil samples were collected at seven sites under different land-use conditions in Fukushima and were separated into four aggregate-size fractions. The fractions were then analyzed for $$^{137}$$Cs content and extractability and mineral composition. In forest soils, aggregate formation was significant, and $$^{137}$$Cs was largely associated with large-sized aggregates. In contrast, there was less aggregation in agricultural field soils, and most of $$^{137}$$Cs was in the clay- and silt-sized fractions. Across all sites, the $$^{137}$$Cs extractability was higher in the large-sized aggregate fractions than in the clay-sized fractions. The results demonstrate that large-sized aggregates are a significant reservoir of potentially mobile and bioavailable $$^{137}$$Cs in organic-rich (forest and orchard) soils.

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Category:Environmental Sciences

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