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Tracking the origin and dispersion of contaminated sediments transported by rivers draining the Fukushima radioactive contaminant plume

Hugo Lepage 1, * O. Evrard 1, 2 Yuichi Onda 3 Caroline Chartin 1 Irene Lefevre 1 Sophie Ayrault 1 Philippe Bonté 1
* Corresponding author
2 GEDI - Géochimie Des Impacts
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
Abstract : This study was conducted in several catchments draining the main Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant contaminant plume in Fukushima prefecture, Japan. We collected soils and sediment drape deposits (n = 128) and investigated the variation in $^{137}$Cs enrichment during five sampling campaigns, conducted every six months, which typically occurred after intense erosive events such as typhoons and snowmelt. We show that upstream contaminated soils are eroded during summer typhoons (June-October) before being exported during the spring snowmelt (March-April). However, this seasonal cycle of sediment dispersion is further complicated by the occurrence of dam releases that may discharge large amounts of contaminants to the coastal plains during the coming years.
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Hugo Lepage, O. Evrard, Yuichi Onda, Caroline Chartin, Irene Lefevre, et al.. Tracking the origin and dispersion of contaminated sediments transported by rivers draining the Fukushima radioactive contaminant plume. Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, Copernicus Publications, 2015, 367, pp.237-243. ⟨10.5194/piahs-367-237-2015⟩. ⟨cea-02610592⟩

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