Vertical distribution of 137Cs and plutonium in Lake Taihu and Dianchi sediment cores: loss of radionuclides in shallow, eutrophic lakes


Plutonium and 137Cs deposited in lacustrine sediments have been used for dating and radionuclide source identification. In order to determine if the radionuclides can be applied to chronogram in shallow lakes with disturbances, we investigated the vertical distribution profiles and loss ratio of plutonium isotopes and 137Cs in sediment cores from Lakes Taihu and Dianchi. We obtained that the inventory of 239+240Pu and 137Cs were lower than those for global fallout for the corresponding latitude and the loss ratios of 137Cs in Lake Taihu was 96%, evident that the loss of 137Cs inventory led to invalid chronological time scales.

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All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article.


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Funding for this research was provided by Natural Science Foundation of China (41573124) and National Key Research and Development Plan of China (2019YFC0409205). The authors specially thank Professor Jian Zheng and Masatoshi Yamada from Department of Radioecology and Fukushima Project, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology of Japan for their help in the experiment. We also would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their instructive and valuable comments that really strengthened this manuscript.

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The authors of MJ, MC, HL, XW and YB all had contributed in this study.

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Correspondence to Haiqing Liao.

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Ji, M., Chang, M., Liao, H. et al. Vertical distribution of 137Cs and plutonium in Lake Taihu and Dianchi sediment cores: loss of radionuclides in shallow, eutrophic lakes. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 327, 1219–1228 (2021).

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  • 137Cs
  • Plutonium
  • Shallow lake
  • Radiometric dating