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[en] Two sediment cores were collected from the Oualidia lagoon, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, and analyzed for 210Pb and 137Cs activity by gamma spectrometry. The 210Pb profiles were characterized by high activity at specific depths in each core, which were attributed to substantial increases in atmospheric 210Pb input to the sediment. A modified CRS model was applied to develop age-depth relations (chronologies) for the cores and calculate sediment accumulation rates, taking into account changing unsupported 210Pb delivery and specifying the year when the increase began. Calculated 210Pb inventories (activity/area) and fluxes (activity/area/time) depend strongly on sedimentation rates and were much higher than mean values in similar coastal systems worldwide. We attempted to use 137Cs as a time marker to support the modified CRS chronologies for both cores. The 137Cs profiles, however, were affected by post-depositional cesium migration in the sediment which made it difficult to identify the 1963 atmospheric bomb-testing peak, especially in the core with low sedimentation rate. We conclude that the high activities of 210Pb detected at specific depths in the Oualidia lagoon sediment cores are a consequence of decay of radioactive 222Rn, which displayed periodic high concentrations in the overlying atmosphere. (author)
[en] Results of systematic measurements of radiocaesium activities in milk after the Chernobyl nuclear accident are summarized. 137Cs fallout activity affects milk activity, the coefficient of correlation being 0.89. The 137Cs activities in milk in Croatia are log-normally distributed, reflecting the exponential decrease of activity. After the Chernobyl nuclear accident the 134Cs:137Cs activity ratio in milk was ≈0.5, and did not differ from that for other environmental samples. The dose due to radiocaesium ingestion by milk consumption was estimated for the Croatian population, the annual collective equivalent dose being approximately 205 manSv in 1986 and 1.5 manSv in 1994
[en] To obtain information on the spatial variability of fallout 137Cs in the soil of a small area, the activity concentration of this radionuclide was determined in 100 soil samples, taken along the two diagonals of a cultivated field (150×100 m). The results show that the spatial distribution of 137Cs in this field is at random. The frequency distribution of the values is skewed to the right, but not log-normal. The median activity concentration observed was 7.45 Bq kg-1 dry soil, the values ranging from 4.8–15 Bq kg-1. The spatial variability, as characterized by the relative decile deviation was 26%. If one tolerates for the establishment of baselines of global fallout 137Cs in the soil an error in the mean activity concentration of 10% (20%) at the 95% confidence level, the minimum number of soil samples to be taken can be estimated as 14 (4). The total deposition of 137Cs on the soil surface by fallout was determined as 3.3±0.4 kBq m-2
[en] Presented in this study is a simple but efficient switchable polarity solvent microextraction strategy for etrimfos preconcentration from water and food samples for quantification by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Repeatability of the extraction process and instrumental measurements were enhanced by using deuterated bisphenol A as internal standard. Significant parameters of the extraction method were fitted into an experimental design model to study the effects of parameters on extraction output, as well as mutual effects of combined parameters. The design model was formed with 51 experimented data obtained from the combination of sodium hydroxide volume, switchable solvent volume, and vortex period at three levels. The method was validated by applying optimum conditions attained from the model predictor. The detection limit was found to be 1.3 ng/mL and it corresponded to an enhancement factor of about 54 folds when compared to direct GC-MS measurement. Etrimfos was not detected in the water and food samples tested but the results (92–107%) obtained from spiked recovery experiments established that etrimfos when present in the selected matrices can be accurately and precisely quantified.
[en] Gediz Basin, located in the western part of Turkey constituting 2% land of the country, has an important groundwater potential in the area. Alasehir sub-basin, located in the southeast of the Gediz Basin and subject to the extensive withdrawal for the irrigation, constitutes the study area. Natural recharge to the sub-basin due to precipitation is numerically investigated in this study. For this purpose, 25 research wells, whose depths range from 20 to 50 m, were drilled to observe the recharge and collect the necessary field data for the numerical model. Meteorological data were collected from 3 weather stations installed in the study area. The numerical model HYDRUS was calibrated using the field water content data. Soil characterization was done on the core samples; the aquifer characterization was performed, and the alluvial aquifer recharge due to precipitation was calculated. As a result, the computed recharge value ranges from 21.78 to 68.52 mm, with an average value of 43.09 mm. According to the numerical model, this amount of recharge corresponds to 10% of the amount of annual rainfall.
[en] Continuous monitoring data can be extremely useful for assessing water-quality conditions particularly for variables, such as dissolved oxygen, that exhibit dynamic diel swings. As a means of evaluating stream dissolved oxygen criteria used by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), we compared continuous dissolved oxygen (DO) data collected at five small- to moderate-sized (watersheds 10–100 mi2), high-gradient streams in the Boston Mountains distributed across a land-use and nutrient condition gradient. The sampled streams exhibit a general pattern established for other aquatic systems (e.g., larger streams, low-gradient streams, and lakes) where increasing land-use intensity results in increased nutrient concentrations, stream eutrophication, and increased DO variability. DO concentrations were < 6 mg/L for fewer than 4% of measurements at the two sites identified “a priori” as least disturbed by nutrient and land-use indices, while concentrations at the three sites identified as moderately and most disturbed were < 6 mg/L for 20 to 33% of measurements. These findings demonstrate that the current criterion (10% of the DO measurements are < 6 mg/L) employed by ADEQ was effective at identifying various degrees of DO impairment in Boston Mountain streams. Our analysis also demonstrated that continuous pH and specific conductance data and estimates of stream metabolism were helpful for attributing DO variability to anthropogenic or natural origins. Considerations that were useful for examining these relationships and evaluating ADEQ’s DO criterion should be applicable to DO studies in other locations where stream and geologic characteristics are similar to those of the Boston Mountains.
[en] One of the biggest challenges when conducting a continental-scale assessment of wetlands is setting appropriate expectations for the assessed sites. The challenge occurs for two reasons: (1) tremendous natural environmental heterogeneity exists within a continental landscape and (2) reference sites vary in quality both across and within major regions of the continent. We describe the process used to set reference expectations and define a disturbance gradient for the United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency’s National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). The NWCA employed a probability design and sampled 1138 wetland sites across the conterminous US to make an unbiased assessment of wetland condition. NWCA vegetation data were used to define 10 reporting groups based on ecoregion and wetland type that reduced the naturally occurring variation in wetland vegetation associated with continent-wide differences in biogeography. These reporting groups were used as a basis for defining quantitative criteria for least disturbed and most disturbed conditions and developing indices and thresholds for categories of ecological condition and disturbance. The NWCA vegetation assessment was based on a reference site approach, in which the least disturbed reference sites were used to establish benchmarks for assessing the condition of vegetation at other sites. Reference sites for each reporting group were identified by filtering NWCA sample data for disturbance using a series of abiotic variables. Ultimately, 277 least disturbed sites were used to set reference expectations for the NWCA. The NWCA provided a unique opportunity to improve our conceptual and technical understanding of how to best apply a reference condition approach to assessing wetlands across the US. These results will enhance the technical quality of future national assessments.