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Spatial pattern of atmospherically deposited radiocesium on the forest floor in the early phase of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

, , Taeko Wakahara, Ayumi Kawamori
Published: 1 February 2018

Abstract: Spatial patterns of atmospherically deposited radiocesium on the forest floor and the temporal evolution were measured in two Japanese cedar stands and a secondary mixed broad-leaved forest in the early phase of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. In situ measurements of the Cs gamma count were made using a portable germanium gamma ray detector. These measurements revealed that the forest floors were contaminated with radionuclides derived from the accident. In the cedar stands, the inter-canopy area had higher Cs count rate relative to the under-canopy area, whereas no clear relationship was found between the radiocesium pattern and canopy cover in the mixed broad-leaved forest. Repeated radiocesium measurements revealed that the spatial pattern of radiocesium activity on the forest floor did not substantially change following additional deposition inputs. Furthermore, the magnitude of canopy cover partially explained spatial variability of the Cs on the forest floor in cedar stands. These results suggest that canopy structure affected the genesis of the horizontal variability of atmospherically deposited radiocesium on the forest floor during the early phase of the Fukushima accident.
Keywords: (137)Cs / Canopy cover / Horizontal variability / Japanese cedar / Mixed broad-leaved forest / Portable germanium gamma ray detector

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