Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2019

Presentation information

[J] Oral

M (Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary) » M-AG Applied Geosciences

[M-AG41] Dynamics of radionuclides emitted from Fukuchima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the environment

Sun. May 26, 2019 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM 302 (3F)

convener:Yoshio Takahashi(Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo), Kazuyuki Kita(Faculty of Science, Ibaraki University), Yuichi Onda(Center for Research on Isotopes and Environmental Dynamics, University of Tsukuba), Daisuke Tsumune(Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry), Chairperson:Kazuyuki Kita(Ibaraki University), Daisuke Tsumune(Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry)

4:15 PM - 4:30 PM

[MAG41-10] Particle size distribution and radiocesium concentration in suspended particles within the high turbidity layer at near sea bottom off Fukushima prefecture

*Hideki Kaeriyama1, Naoki Furuichi2, Kouichi Sugimatsu3, Yuya Shigenobu1, Shizuho Miki1, Takami Morita1, Daisuke Ambe1, Tadafumi Ichikawa1 (1.National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 2.National Research Institute of Fisheries Engineering, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 3.Seikai National Research Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency)

Keywords:Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Radiocesium, high turbidity layer, particle size distribution

The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident of March 2011 resulted in the release of radiocesium to the ocean. The concentration of Fukushima-derived 137Cs in pelagic fishes had been decreased drastically during two years from the accident, associated with the concentration of dissolved 137Cs due to the dispersion and dilution of seawater. The concentration of 137Cs in demersal fishes had also been decreasing for eight years, although the decreasing rates of them are slower than those of pelagic fishes. The seabed sediment in the coastal region of Fukushima revealed higher concentration of 137Cs than those observed before the accident. To elucidate the fate of Fukushima-derived radiocesium in the oceanic environment, the benthic ecosystem in the coastal region of Fukushima is the most important study area.

In this study, we focused on the high turbidity layer observed at near sea bottom as a possible source of radiocesium for the benthic organisms in the coastal region of Fukushima. Field observation was conducted in the coastal region off Fukushima and nearby prefectures during June–July 2018. The LISST-200X was used for obtaining the vertical profiles of volumetric concentration of particles and particle size frequency at 28 stations. LISST-HOLO was used concurrently at some stations shallower than 200 m to obtain holographic image of particle. To measure the concentration of 137Cs in suspended materials, large volume in-situ pump was deployed on the sea bottom for collecting suspended materials just above the sea bottom (ca. 80 cm above bottom) at three stations.
The volumetric concentration of particle (especially >100 µm) was increased with depth and formed a peak at pycnocline and was decreased with depth. From holography images, diatom colonies and crustacean plankton (copepod) frequently observed at this peak may represent the sub-surface chlorophyll peak was developed around pycnocline. The increase of volumetric concentration of particle were also observed at near sea bottom at some stations located around continental shelf (ca. 100–200 m depth). The particles of 10–100 µm were abundant at this high turbidity sea bottom boundary layer, on the other hands the particles within this size range were less abundant in the above water column. The holography images of particles represented variable forms including crustacean plankton (copepod), rod shape fragment and amorphous detritus at the high turbidity sea bottom boundary layer. The 137Cs concentration of suspended particle collected at near sea bottom ranged from 0.1 to 0.2 Bq g-dry-1 and was 2 to 13 times higher than that in the sea bottom sediment at same location. These results (10–100µm particles abundant in sea bottom boundary layer and relatively high 137Cs concentration in this particles) revealed the high turbidity layer at near sea bottom could be one of the sources for radiocesium uptake by the benthic organisms. Further studies needed to verify the role of this suspended particles not only the variability of 137Cs concentration, but also portion of organic fraction, particle size distribution, and the horizontal distribution of particles in the continental shelf area off Fukushima.