The Incorporation of Radionuclides into Estuarine Sediments

  • B. Heaton
  • J. A. Hetherington


In 1974 Hetherington and Jefferies (1974) published a review of the results obtained by the Fisheries Radiobiological Laboratory in the course of their monitoring of radioactivity in sediments in the North East Irish Sea area and the coasts around the Windscale fuel element reprocessing plant. The paper dealt with the more important fission product radionuclides such as zirconium 95/niobium 95, ruthenium 106, caesium 134 and 137 and cerium 144. In addition to describing the mechanism and scale of uptake in surface sediment, the paper dealt with the depth distribution of selected radionuclides in core samples taken from estuarine and coastal sites. The distributions of activity with depth appeared to take exponential forms and for this reason a model based on fickian diffusion was proposed for the process by which radioactivity moved from sea water into the sedimentary deposits of the area.


Sedimentation Rate Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Interstitial Water Predicted Distribution Estuarine Sediment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Heaton
    • 1
  • J. A. Hetherington
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AberdeenForesterhill, AberdeenUK
  2. 2.Scottish Development DepartmentEdinburghUK

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