Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 27–33 | Cite as

137Cs and 210Pbex as soil erosion tracers in the hilly Sichuan Basin and the Three Gorges area of China

  • Zhonglin Shi
  • Anbang WenEmail author
  • Xinbao Zhang
  • Xiubin He
  • Hao Li
  • Dongchun Yan


Accelerated soil erosion and land degradation represent major environmental problems for agricultural lands. Reliable information on the rates of soil loss is urgently needed. The traditional techniques for documenting rates of soil loss may meet this need, but face many limitations. The fallout radionuclides, especially 137Cs and 210Pbex, are increasingly used as effective tracers to quantify soil erosion rates, and they represent a valuable complement to the existing classical methods. This paper aims to introduce the basis for assessing soil erosion rates on cultivated and uncultivated slopes by using 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements, to compare the 137Cs and 210Pbex reference inventories, and to report several case studies undertaken in the hilly area of Sichuan Basin and the Three Gorges area of China.


Soil erosion Cultivated land 137Cs; 210Pbex Uncultivated land Sichuan Basin Three Gorges area China 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhonglin Shi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anbang Wen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xinbao Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiubin He
    • 1
  • Hao Li
    • 3
  • Dongchun Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological Regulation, Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Resources and EnvironmentSichuan Agricultural UniversityYa’anChina

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