Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 49, Issue 18, pp 1953–1957 | Cite as

Sediment source identification by using137Cs and210Pb radionuclides in a small catchment of the Hilly Sichuan Basin, China

  • Xinbao Zhang
  • Xiubin He
  • Anbang Wen
  • D. E. Walling
  • Mingyi Feng
  • Xiang Zou


Double radionuclide tracers of137Cs and210Pb were used to investigate sediment sources in the Wujia Gully, a small catchment in the Hilly Sichuam Basin in 2002. Average137Cs and210Pb concentrations in the source soils of the steep forest slopes, gentle cultivated terraces and bare slopes were 7.15 ±0.40 and 162.01 ±3.86 Bq·kg-1, 4.01 ±0.31 and 70.96 ±2.65 Bq · kg-1, and 0 and 15.12 ±1.22 Bq · kg-1, respectively, while those concentrations in the recently deposited sediments in the reservoir were 3.06 ±0.23 and 72.66 ±1.61 Bq · kg-1, respectively. By using the mixing model, the relative sediment contributions from steep forest slopes, gentle cultivated terraces and bare slopes (including channel banks) were estimated to be 18%, 46% and 36%, respectively. Cultivated terraces and bare slopes (including channel banks) were the first and the second important sediment sources in catchment. Specific sediment yield in the catchment was 642 t · km-2 · a-1 from the deposited sediment volume in the reservoir since 1956. Soil erosion rates for the forest slopes and cultivated terraces, which accounted for 2/3 and 1/3 of the drainage area in the catchment, were estimated to be 173 and 886 t · km-2 · a-1, respectively.


sediment source relative contribution 137Cs 210Pb Hilly Sichuan Basin 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinbao Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiubin He
    • 1
  • Anbang Wen
    • 1
  • D. E. Walling
    • 3
  • Mingyi Feng
    • 4
  • Xiang Zou
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  3. 3.Department of Geography and ArchaeologyExeter UniversityExeterUK
  4. 4.China West Normal UniversityNanchongChina

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