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01-10-2012 | Original Article | Issue 3/2012

Environmental Earth Sciences 3/2012

Determination of 137Cs activities in surface sediments and derived sediment accumulation rates in Thessaloniki Gulf, Greece

Journal:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Issue 3/2012
Authors:
C. Tsabaris, V. Kapsimalis, G. Eleftheriou, M. Laubenstein, H. Kaberi, W. Plastino

Abstract

Surficial and core samples collected from the eastern Thessaloniki Gulf, located in the NW Aegean Sea, were analyzed for their sedimentation rate and inventories of 137Cs and 210Pb. The study of the spatial radionuclide dispersion in the specific region is essential for the assessment of marine pollution levels. The sedimentation rates were calculated from the vertical distribution of 137Cs and excess 210Pb in the sediment cores. The spatial distribution of 137Cs was studied with respect to sediment characteristics such as the grain size of the sample and the organic carbon content. The activity concentrations were measured by means of gamma ray spectrometry using HPGe detector for 137Cs and gross alpha counting using alpha counter for 210Pb. The average sedimentation rate along the sediment cores is characterized by a consistent pattern and varies from 0.18 ± 0.02 to 0.22 ± 0.03 cm year−1. The 137Cs inventories varied from 205 ± 15 to 602 ± 39 Bq m−2, while the 210Pb inventories of the studied cores exhibited average value of 140 ± 9 Bq m−2. Elevated 137Cs activities were observed compared to certain Mediterranean marine areas; however, they were lower than the reported values in the Black Sea.

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