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Rates of Overbank Sedimentation on the Floodplains of British Lowland Rivers Documented Using Fallout 137Cs

Qingping He and Desmond E. Walling
Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography
Vol. 78, No. 4 (1996), pp. 223-234
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
DOI: 10.2307/521042
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/521042
Page Count: 12
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Rates of Overbank Sedimentation on the Floodplains of British Lowland Rivers Documented Using Fallout 137Cs
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Abstract

Bomb-derived fallout 137Cs has been used as an environmental tracer to study rates of overbank sedimentation on river floodplains. The depth distributions of fallout 137Cs in sediment cores collected from depositional sites on the floodplains of twelve lowland rivers in Britain have been employed to estimate mean annual overbank sediment deposition rates over the past 30-40 years, assuming a constant rate of sediment deposition and a correspondence between the shape of the observed 137Cs profiles and the history of radiocaesium inputs. Values of sedimentation rate estimated for the twelve sites range from 0.11 g cm-2yr-1 to 0.95 g cm-2yr-1. Variations in the levels of 137Cs activity associated with surface sediment from the individual sites can be used to interpret the dominant sediment sources in the individual catchments.

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