Sellafield-derived anthropogenic C-14 in the marine intertidal environment of the NE Irish Sea

Cook, G.T., MacKenzie, A.B., Muir, G.K.P. , Mackie, G. and Gulliver, P. (2004) Sellafield-derived anthropogenic C-14 in the marine intertidal environment of the NE Irish Sea. Radiocarbon, 46(2), pp. 877-883.

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The intertidal biota from Parton beach, close to the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, were all found to be enriched in radiocarbon relative to ambient background. The degree of enrichment appears to reflect the positions of the biota in the food chain once the dilution in seaweed from atmospheric uptake is taken into account. Close to the low-water mark, the order was mussels gt limpets gt anemones congruent to winkles gt seaweed. The same order was observed close to the high-water mark, except that anemones were absent from this area. The activities in the biogeochemical fractions of the water column reflect the fact that discharges are primarily in the form of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), which is subsequently transferred to the particulate organic carbon (POC) and, to a lesser extent, the dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and finally, the particulate inorganic carbon (PIC). Analysis of intertidal sediment suggests that there is likely to be a gradual increase in the specific activity of C-14 in the inorganic component of this material as Sellafield contaminated organisms die and their shells are ground down by natural processes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacKenzie, Professor Angus and Gulliver, Dr Pauline and Cook, Professor Gordon and Muir, Dr Graham
Authors: Cook, G.T., MacKenzie, A.B., Muir, G.K.P., Mackie, G., and Gulliver, P.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QD Chemistry
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Radiocarbon
Publisher:University of Arizona
Copyright Holders:© 2004 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona
First Published:First published in Radiocarbon 46(2):877-883
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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