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A New perspective on the $$^{137}$$Cs retention mechanism in surface soils during the early stage after the Fukushima nuclear accident

Koarashi, Jun  ; Nishimura, Shusaku; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko ; Muto, Kotomi; Matsunaga, Takeshi*

The aim of the present study is to explore the retention mechanisms of $$^{137}$$Cs in the surface soil layers of terrestrial ecosystems affected by the Fukushima NPP accident, with a specific focus on the interactions between $$^{137}$$Cs, soil minerals, and organic matter. Soil samples were collected from field, orchard, and forest sites in July 2011, separated into three soil fractions with different mineral-organic interaction characteristics. The results show that 20-71% of the $$^{137}$$Cs was retained in association with relatively mineral-free, particulate organic matter-dominant fractions in the orchard and forest surface soil layers. Given the physicochemical and mineralogical properties and the $$^{137}$$Cs extractability of the soils, $$^{137}$$Cs incorporation into the complex structure of particulate organic matter is likely the main mechanism for $$^{137}$$Cs retention in the surface soil layers.

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Category:Multidisciplinary Sciences

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