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Renewed soil erosion and remobilisation of radioactive sediment in Fukushima coastal rivers after the 2013 typhoons
Evrard, O.; Chartin, C.; Onda, Y.; Lepage, H.; Cerdan, O.; Lefèvre, I.; Ayrault, S. (2014). Renewed soil erosion and remobilisation of radioactive sediment in Fukushima coastal rivers after the 2013 typhoons. NPG Scientific Reports 4: 5. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep04574
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Authors  Top 
  • Evrard, O.
  • Chartin, C., more
  • Onda, Y.
  • Lepage, H.
  • Cerdan, O.
  • Lefèvre, I.
  • Ayrault, S.

Abstract
    Summer typhoons and spring snowmelt led to the riverine spread of continental Fukushima fallout to the coastal plains of Northeastern Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Four fieldwork campaigns based on measurement of radioactive dose rates in fine riverine sediment that has recently deposited on channel bed-sand were conducted between November 2011 and May 2013 to document the spread of fallout by rivers. After a progressive decrease in the fresh riverine sediment doses rates between 2011 and early spring in 2013, a fifth campaign conducted in November 2013 showed that they started to increase again after the occurrence of violent typhoons. We show that this increase in dose rates was mostly due to remobilization of contaminated material that was temporarily stored in river channels or, more importantly, in dam reservoirs of the region during the typhoons. In addition, supply of particles from freshly eroded soils in autumn 2013 was the most important in areas where decontamination works are under progress. Our results underline the need to monitor the impact of decontamination works and dam releases in the region, as they may provide a continuous source of radioactive contamination to the coastal plains and the Pacific Ocean during the coming years.

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