Distribution and environmental impact of radionuclides in marine sediments along the Venezuelan coast

Juan A. Alfonso, Karla Pérez, Daniel Palacios, Helga Handt, John J. LaBrecque, Abrahan Mora, Yaneth Vásquez

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

21 Citas (Scopus)


The activity concentrations of 137Cs, 40K, 226Ra and 232Th in Bq/kg from 42 marine sediment samples collected at nine sampling sites were determined in order to establish a radiological baseline along the Venezuelan coast. The radioactivity levels were determined by means of a gamma-ray spectroscopy system using a hyper-pure germanium detector in a low-background configuration. Particle size distribution and total organic matter content were also determined. Activity concentrations of 137Cs were lower than the detection limit of the analytical technique (0.9 Bq/kg) in all studied sites. The results suggest that the variation of grain-size distribution is one of the most important factors influencing the spatial variations of 40K, 226Ra and 232Th in sediments along the Venezuelan coasts. In all sampling sites, average concentrations of 40K, 226Ra and 232Th were lower than the world average values. Activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in coastal marine sediments along the Venezuelan coast could be considered to be low when compared with global average values, indicating that they are not apparently above of the range that might be considered normal or background. These results suggest that the studied sites do not pose any significant radiological threat to the population. The results attained in this study should be of considerable value as baseline data and background reference levels for Venezuelan coastlines.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)219-224
Número de páginas6
PublicaciónJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
EstadoPublicada - abr. 2014
Publicado de forma externa


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