MEASURING OF SOIL EROSION AND DEPOSITION WITH RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT CESIUM-137: A REVIEW
Soil erosion and deposition is a natural process and many human activities have increased frequency and rates of soil erosion. The use of 137Cs measurements for investigating soil erosion and sediment redistribution within the landscape is now well established. Radioactive fallout 137Cs deposited across the landscape from atmospheric nuclear tests and stick hard with clay particle very strongly. By measuring spatial patterns or 137Cs in vertical and horizontal planes across the landscape, rates or soil loss or deposition can be measured for different parts or a watershed. Radioactive fallout is broken down into three components: atmospheric fallout is spatially uniform; transfer to the soil is spatially uniform; and no redistribution occurs during the transfer process. It is important to understand how bomb-derived 137Cs fallout interacted with particles at the soil surface. Furthermore, as it is the surface soil which is mobilized by most wind and water erosion processes, it is important to determine how the 137Cs content at the surface has changed over time. The technique relies upon a number of assumptions that this review evaluates in order to establish how soil erosion and deposition can be measure from the use of 137Cs a fallout radio nuclide.
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