Anthropogenic source assessment of 226Ra and 210Pb in a sediment core from the Cubatão River estuary (SE Brazil)
- First Online:
- 125 Downloads
A sediment core from an estuarine area receiving drainage from the highly industrialized Cubatão River basin (SE Brazil) showed 226Ra and 210Pb activities up to 80 and 213 Bq kg−1, respectively, which are greater than activities considered as regional background levels. Radionuclides and the elevated phosphorus concentrations (up to 0.3% sediment dry weight) found along the sediment core were significantly correlated with each other, indicating source similarity. These results indicate that 226Ra and 210Pb activities are affected by fertilizer industry-derived inputs in addition to natural sources. This interpretation was supported by 210Pb/226Ra ratios (found to be between 2.6 and 3.9) that indicate disequilibrium between 226Ra and its decay product 210Pb, as expected for phosphogypsum-affected sediments.
KeywordsEstuarine sediments Radiochemical contamination 210Pb 226Ra
- 7.Cutshall NH, Larsen IL, Olsen CR (1982) Nucl Instrum Methods 206:309–312Google Scholar