210Pb and 137Cs vertical profiles in coastal sediments are studied using a sedimentation-mixing model. The cores were sampled in a complex coastal area characterized by the presence of different impact sources and environmental uses (riverine inputs, commercial and military harbour, marine protected area) in the Eastern Ligurian Sea, Italy. The analysis of accumulation and dispersion processes is performed using a numerical advection and diffusion model, in terms of the independent variables - time and mass depth. The flux of 210Pb is considered in steady state while the time dependent input flux of 137Cs is estimated from the concentration of this radionuclide in seawater, starting from observed data from 1960 to date. Differently from the atmospheric fallout distribution, this input function contains, at least partly, the contribution that still continues to reach the sediment in the last 25 years as a result of coastal and riverine input. The analysis highlights some features obscured in experimental data, and allows comparison of the effects of different scenarios. The specific effect of a pulsed input is discussed by analysing the effects of the Chernobyl event. The effects of mass flux in non–steady state are also considered: we observe that since the pulsed inputs in 137Cs are now too old, a strong superficial mixing and a time-variable flux produce similar profiles for both radionuclides. Hence, the general environmental knowledge of the area remains the main instrument to fully define the active processes in some cores.

A numerical investigation for dating 210Pbex and 137Cs vertical profiles in a coastal area: The Eastern Ligurian Sea, Italy

Schirone A.;Delfanti R.
2020

Abstract

210Pb and 137Cs vertical profiles in coastal sediments are studied using a sedimentation-mixing model. The cores were sampled in a complex coastal area characterized by the presence of different impact sources and environmental uses (riverine inputs, commercial and military harbour, marine protected area) in the Eastern Ligurian Sea, Italy. The analysis of accumulation and dispersion processes is performed using a numerical advection and diffusion model, in terms of the independent variables - time and mass depth. The flux of 210Pb is considered in steady state while the time dependent input flux of 137Cs is estimated from the concentration of this radionuclide in seawater, starting from observed data from 1960 to date. Differently from the atmospheric fallout distribution, this input function contains, at least partly, the contribution that still continues to reach the sediment in the last 25 years as a result of coastal and riverine input. The analysis highlights some features obscured in experimental data, and allows comparison of the effects of different scenarios. The specific effect of a pulsed input is discussed by analysing the effects of the Chernobyl event. The effects of mass flux in non–steady state are also considered: we observe that since the pulsed inputs in 137Cs are now too old, a strong superficial mixing and a time-variable flux produce similar profiles for both radionuclides. Hence, the general environmental knowledge of the area remains the main instrument to fully define the active processes in some cores.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/53053
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