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Distribution of Be-7, Pb-210 and Cs-137 in watersheds of different scales in the Seine River basin: Inventories and residence times

Abstract : "The activity of environmental radionuclides (Be-7, Pb-210 and (CS)-137) was monitored in nested catchments, inside the Seine River basin. Suspended matter data was collected at 8 different watersheds, ranging from order I to order 7, and ranging in size over 4 orders of magnitude. Suspended matter was analyzed for Pb-210, Cs-137 and Be-7, and used to calculate the flux of sediments out of each watershed. Monthly atmospheric flux data of Pb-210 and Be-7 was analyzed to assess the input flux of each into the watersheds, taking into account the rainfall during sampling periods. Taking advantage of the different half-lives of Be-7 (53 days) and Pb-210 (22 years), a two-box model was built for each of the catchments following a methodology previously developed by Dominik et al. [Dominik J, Burrus D, Vernet JP. Transport of the environmental radionuclides in alpine watershed. Earth Planet Sci Letters 1987; 84: 165-180.]. The model divides the watershed into a soil box and a rapid reservoir and provides insight into the removal rate of suspended matter from the surrounding watershed. The model enables the assessment of the surface area and the residence time of slow and rapid reservoirs to describe the fate of contaminants of atmospheric origin inside the river basin. The model was improved by considering the dissolved fraction in the total flux and adding the Cs-137 inventory as an additional constraint. The effects of these changes are discussed. Residence times in the soil box, characterized by low transport velocity, range between 4800 years at Melarchez (order 1) to about 30000 years at Andresy and Poses (order 7). They remain constant in each watershed over a large range of variation of atmospheric fluxes of Be-7 and Pb-210 during the whole study, but are sensitive to SM variations. The residence time in the rapid box, which includes the surface of the river and immediate surroundings, is less than one year, while its surface area is in the range 0.6% to 2.2% of the total catchment area. They are sensitive to Be-7 atmospheric flux variations. The two-box model was used to estimate the amount of the radionuclides in each reservoir. Inventories appear to be constant from one watershed to the next. The Be-7 inventory ratio in the rapid and slow boxes expresses the rate of particle-reactive atmospheric pollutants that will be rapidly delivered to the river. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved."
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Soumis le : lundi 25 juin 2012 - 13:10:39
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Marie-Francoise Le Cloarec, Philippe Bonte, Irene Lefevre, Jean-Marie Mouchel, Steven Colbert. Distribution of Be-7, Pb-210 and Cs-137 in watersheds of different scales in the Seine River basin: Inventories and residence times. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2007, 375 (01-mars), pp.125--139. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.12.020⟩. ⟨hal-00711610⟩

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