Earth Surface Dynamics | 2021

Assessing the effect of topography on Cs-137 concentrations within forested soils due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Japan



Abstract. Topographic effects on Cs-137 concentrations in a forested area were quantitatively examined using 58\xa0soil core samples collected in a village in Fukushima, Japan, which was directly impacted by the radioactive plume emitted during the 2011\xa0Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant\xa0(FDNPP) accident. In this study, five topographic parameters and two soil properties were evaluated as controls on the soil Cs-137 concentration using generalized additive models\xa0(GAMs), a flexible statistical method for evaluating the functional dependencies of multiple parameters. GAMs employing soil dry bulk density, mass water content, and elevation explained 54\u2009% of the observed concentrations of Cs-137 within this landscape, whereas GAMs employing elevation, slope, and upslope distance explained 47\u2009% of the observed concentrations, which provide strong evidence of topographic effects on Cs-137 concentrations in soils. The model fit analysis confirmed that the topographic effects are strongest when multiple topographic parameters and soil properties are included. The\nability of each topographic feature to predict Cs-137 concentrations was\ninfluenced by the resolution of the digital elevation models. The movement\nof Cs-137 into the subsurface in this area near Fukushima was faster in\ncomparison to regions affected by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. These results suggest that the effects of topographic parameters\nshould be considered carefully in the use of anthropogenic radionuclides as\nenvironmental tracers and in the assessment of current and future\nenvironmental risks due to nuclear power plant accidents.\n

Volume None
Pages None
DOI 10.5194/esurf-9-861-2021
Language English
Journal Earth Surface Dynamics

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