Vertical distribution of 137Cs in forest soil after the ground fires
I. Davydova, M. Korbut, H. Kreitseva, A. Panasiuk, V. Melnyk
We studied the influence of forest fires on vertical pattern of 137Cs specific activity concentration in forest soils. Our experiments were organized in Bazar forestry of State Enterprise (SE) “Narodychi Forestry” (Ukraine). We sampled soil in the study sites where grassfires occurred at different times, and determined the specific activity of 137Cs in all soil horizons. We determined that the forest fires and burned forest litter intensify mineralization of forest litter nutrients and increase the radionuclide content in upper layers of soil mineral part. In the following years, the radionuclides gradually move to deeper soil horizons and the difference between the burned and control areas decreases. We determined the depth of soil layer, where the changes in 137Cs specific activity occur caused by the forest fires. The time required for restoration of the original distribution is calculated. The results obtained allow us to identify a group of plants (by the location of the root system) that may have increased levels of contamination in the years following a forest fire and to determine the period when we must conduct additional radiological control of them. We suggested the recommendations on usage of non-timber forest products on the territories contaminated with radionuclides.
Key words: forest plantations; forest fires; soil; forest litter; soil layers; radionuclides; specific activity
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