Articles | Volume 367
03 Mar 2015
 | 03 Mar 2015

Using fallout radionuclides to investigate recent overbank sedimentation rates on river floodplains: an overview

V. Golosov and D. E. Walling

Keywords: Overbank sedimentation rates, river floodplain, fallout radionuclide, 137Cs, 210Pb, 7Be, 239+240Pu; geochronology, Chernobyl fallout, bomb derived-fallout

Abstract. Information on rates of overbank sedimentation on river floodplains is needed for a variety of purposes. Use of 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements provides an effective means of estimating medium-term floodplain sedimentation rates and that approach has now been successfully used in many areas of the world. This contribution reviews the use of 137Cs and 210Pbex measurements in floodplain sedimentation investigations and discusses some of the important sampling requirements and key issues associated with interpreting the measurements, and subsequently deriving reliable estimates of sedimentation rates. The potential use of other radionuclides, including 241Am, 238,239+240Pu, and 7Be is considered, and the advantages of using two or more radionuclides, in combination, is highlighted.