Radiocarbon concentration in modern tree rings from Fukushima, Japan

Xu, S., Cook, G. T. , Cresswell, A. J. , Dunbar, E. , Freeman, S. P.H.T. , Hastie, H., Hou, X., Jacobsson, P. , Naysmith, P. and Sanderson, D. C.W. (2015) Radiocarbon concentration in modern tree rings from Fukushima, Japan. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 146, pp. 67-72. (doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.04.004) (PMID:25917022)

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Abstract

A 30-year-old Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), collected from Iwaki, Fukushima in 2014, was analyzed for the long-lived radionuclide 14C. Values of Δ14C varied from 211.7‰ in 1984 to 16.9‰ in 2013. The temporal Δ14C variation can be described as an exponential decline, indistinguishable from the general Northern Hemisphere Zone 2 (NH Zone 2) values in the atmosphere, until at least 1994. Values of Δ14C for 1999 and 2004 are slightly depleted compared with NH Zone 2 values, while from 1999 to 2013 the data suggest a clear depletion with a 2–8 ppmV additional CO2 contribution from a 14C-free (i.e. fossil carbon) source. This change coincides with local traffic increases since two nearby expressways were opened in the 1990's. In addition, the small but visible 14C pulse observed in the 2011 tree-ring might be caused by release from the damaged reactors during the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cook, Professor Gordon and Naysmith, Mr Philip and Cresswell, Dr Alan and Dunbar, Dr Elaine and Sanderson, Professor David and Xu, Dr Sheng and Freeman, Professor Stewart and Jacobsson, Dr Piotr
Authors: Xu, S., Cook, G. T., Cresswell, A. J., Dunbar, E., Freeman, S. P.H.T., Hastie, H., Hou, X., Jacobsson, P., Naysmith, P., and Sanderson, D. C.W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0265-931X
ISSN (Online):1879-1700

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