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Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 230:226 | Cite as

Rainfall-Runoff Simulation of Radioactive Cesium Transport by Using a Small-Scale Portable Rainfall Simulator

  • Ayman N. Saber
  • Piniti Somjunyakul
  • Junghun Ok
  • Hirozumi WatanabeEmail author
Article
  • 217 Downloads

Abstract

Soil pollution with radioactive cesium (134Cs and 137Cs) has been considered one of the major environmental issues of agricultural farmlands after the nuclear power station incident which occurred in Fukushima Prefecture on 11th March 2011. A small-scale portable rainfall-runoff simulator was developed to conduct the rainfall-runoff experiments in the laboratory using the radiocesium contaminated soil in Fukushima. This study describes and demonstrates the operation method and performance of a portable rainfall simulator as well as runoff, sediment discharge, radioactivity, and contaminant transport. The rainfall simulator is able to produce the rainfall intensity from 30 to 70 mm h−1 with Christiansen’s Uniformity varied from 72 to 91%. The simulated rainfall kinetic energy rates were accounted for about 45, 58, and 74% of the kinetic energy of the natural precipitation for different rainfall intensities of 30, 50, and 70 mm h−1, respectively. The applicability of a small-scale portable rainfall simulator for the rainfall impacts on runoff, soil erosion, and the transport of radioactive cesium is investigated. The total radioactive cesium (134 + 137Cs) measured in runoff sediments ranged up to 6847 Bq kg−1 and they were in the ranges that have been reported in the literature. The results revealed that the average total radioactivity average of cesium in the discharged sediments was found to be higher (up to three times) than the average rates determined in initial soil in lysimeters of all Fukushima sites before the experiment. The results have proved that a small-scale portable rainfall-runoff simulator system is a useful tool for investigating rainfall-runoff phenomena and contaminant transport in the laboratory.

Keywords

Rainfall simulator Drop size distribution Kinetic energy Cesium radioactivity 

Notes

Funding

This study was partly funded by the Environmental Research Fund (ZD-1202) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan and JSPS KAKENHI Grant No. 24248058 and by the Fukushima Radiation Monitoring of Water, Soil, and Entrainment project of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in Japan.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayman N. Saber
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Piniti Somjunyakul
    • 1
  • Junghun Ok
    • 1
  • Hirozumi Watanabe
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of International, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences, Graduate of School of AgricultureTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pesticide Residues and Environmental Pollution, Central Agricultural Pesticide LaboratoryAgriculture Research CenterGizaEgypt
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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