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Radionuclides in soils of Byers Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Western Antarctica

AuthorsNavas Izquierdo, Ana ; Soto, Jesús; López-Martínez, Jerónimo
Livingston Island
Depth distribution
Cryogenic processes
Issue DateMay-2005
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationApplied Radiation and Isotopes 62 (5): 809-816 (2005)
AbstractAs a part of a broader study of the surface formations in maritime Antarctica, a preliminary survey on the content of radionuclides has been carried out in soils of Byers Peninsula, located in the western end of Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands. Data on natural and artificial radionuclides are very scarce in Antarctica and the studied soil samples can be representative of the maritime Antarctic environment. Byers Peninsula has an extensive presence of permafrost and an active layer, the studied soils being Criosols and Cryic Leptosols. A series of soil cores between 13 and 40 cm depth have been collected in different lithological and altitudinal contexts. In the southwestern sector of the peninsula, soils have been sampled in seven different sites along a transect on different geomorphological units from an upper marine platform (88 m above sea level) to a Holocene raised beach at an altitude of 24 m a.s.l. The parent materials are mainly Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous marine sandstones and conglomerates and Lower Cretaceous volcanoclastic materials. Individual samples have been obtained from the cores according to textural and colour criteria and analysed for 238U, 226Ra, 232Th, 40K and 137Cs by gamma spectrometry. Radionuclides show variations in the depth profile as well as in the different morphoedaphic environments studied. Variability in some radionuclides seems to be related to mineralogy derived from parent materials as well as with cryogenic and soil processes affecting the depth distribution of the granulometric fractions and the organic matter. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Publisher version (URL)http:/dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2004.11.007
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2004.11.007
issn: 0969-8043
Appears in Collections:(EEAD) Artículos
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