Sediment geochronology and spatio-temporal and vertical distributions of radionuclides in the Upper Bonny Estuary (South Nigeria)
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Department of Animal and Environmental Biology Faculty of Science, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Centre National de L’Energie, des Sciences et des Techniques Nucléaires (CNESTEN), B.P. 1382, R.P. 10001, Rabat, Morocco
Centre for Marine Pollution Monitoring and Seafood Safety, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Online publication date: 2014-10-01
Publication date: 2014-12-01
Geochronometria 2014;41(4):369-376
Surface deposits and sediment cores were collected from the Upper Bonny Estuary, located in Southwest Nigeria, and analyzed to determine spatio-temporal and vertical distributions of radio-nuclide activities expressed in Bq·kg−1 dry weight. The results of activities of naturally occurring radionuclides of 226Ra (15 ± 2–34 ± 3 Bq·kg−1), 228Ra (32 ± 5–48 ± 6 Bq·kg−1), 40K (264 ± 29–462 ± 36 Bq·kg−1) were found to be all within the range of typical values reported for coastal regions. Ratios of 226Ra to 228Ra suggested accretion for all samples with low sediment accumulation registered during rainy months. In addition, vertical distributions at the three sampling sites were also studied with the initial aim of establishing chronologies from the decay of excess 210Pb. In two cores, excess 210Pb, estimated by subtracting 226Ra from total 210Pb on a layer-by-layer basis, exhibit relatively constant activity with discrete minima and maxima. Therefore, these cores were excluded from radiometric dating. Only the third core could be dated by the constant rate of supply model, and 137Cs was utilized to validate the 210Pb chronology.
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