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Iodine-129 enrichment in sediment of the Baltic Sea
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Ion Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Ion Physics. (Tandem)
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2007 (English)In: Applied Geochemistry, ISSN 0883-2927, E-ISSN 1872-9134, Vol. 22, no 3, 637-647 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sediments are an excellent archive for evaluation of time-series environmental contamination of water systems. Measurements of ultra-trace radioactive species, such as 129I, provide information for both chronologic calibration and anthropogenic emissions during the nuclear era. Here data are presented on 129I and other chemical parameters from two sediment cores collected in the Baltic Sea during 1997. The sediment sections have a relatively uniform grain size (clay–mud) and cover a period of about 50 a. Distribution of 129I in the sediment strongly relates to the liquid release records from the nuclear reprocessing facilities at Sellafield and La Hague. However, syn- and post-depositional alteration of organic matter at the sediment–water interface and within the sediment column may have contributed to slightly obliterating the anthropogenic 129I signals. Indication of Chernobyl-derived 129I occurs in the sediment profile, but is apparently overridden by the overwhelming flux from the nuclear reprocessing facilities. Although the record did not cover the pre-nuclear era (before 1945) sections, the ultra sensitive 129I profile provides a potential tool for relative dating and monitoring sources of water and sediment to the region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 22, no 3, 637-647 p.
Keyword [en]
Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic, Northeast Atlantic, sedimentary rocks, clastic rocks, Baltic Sea, dating, sediment-water interface, organic materials, alteration, mud, clay, grain size, geologic sections, drill cores, calibration, contamination, enrichment, iodine
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97360DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2006.12.009ISI: 000245610900011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97360DiVA: diva2:172264
Available from: 2008-05-16 Created: 2008-05-16 Last updated: 2016-04-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Anthropogenic 129I Traced in Environmental Archives by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anthropogenic 129I Traced in Environmental Archives by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the beginning of the nuclear era, starting during the 1940s, large amount of radioactivity has been released into the environment. This thesis deals with the temporal and spatial distribution of the anthropogenic radioisotope 129I (T1/2= 15.7 Myr) in northern Europe. A routine sample preparation procedure for extraction of iodine from milligram amounts of solid materials has been developed and aimed for measuring the 129I concentration by the ultra-sensitive accelerator mass spectrometry method. The technique was further used for the analysis of 129I in sediments collected from two lakes in Sweden and one lake in Finland as well as sediments from two sites in the Baltic Sea. In addition, 129I concentrations in aerosol samples from northern and southern Sweden covering the period 1983 to 2000 have been measured. The results reveal a gradual increase in the anthropogenic 129I fluxes since the 1950s that are linked to emissions from the nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities in Sellafield (UK) and La Hague (France). A sharp increase coinciding with the Chernobyl accident is identified from the Swedish lakes located in areas characterised by relatively high Chernobyl fallout. Numerical modeling of the 129I deposition predicts that >50% of the flux to the lake sediments is related to the liquid emissions from the reprocessing facilities. The modeling also reasonably simulates the contribution of the Chernobyl event to the total 129I flux. The novel time series from northern Europe on 129I in aerosols show about one order of magnitude higher concentration in northern compared to southern Sweden. Estimate of 129I dry fallout based on the aerosol data suggests <25% contribution to the total fallout. The distribution of 129I in the sediment archives demonstrates the potential of the isotope as a new time marker for chronological and environmental investigations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 50 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 449
Engineering physics, iodine-129, sediment, aerosol, reprocessing, Chernobyl, nuclear weapon, Sellafield, La Hague, accelerator mass spectrometry, AMS, Teknisk fysik
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8989 (URN)978-91-554-7238-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-12, 4101, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Läderhyddsv. 1, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-05-16 Created: 2008-05-16 Last updated: 2009-03-26Bibliographically approved

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Aldahan, AlaEnglund, EdvardPossnert, Göran
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