Radionuclide Potential of Holocene Sediments in the West of Marmara Sea (Turkey)

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Kam E., Yümün Z. Ü.

Journal of the Turkish Chemical Society Section A: Chemistry, vol.7, no.2, pp.517-524, 2020 (Scopus)


Radionuclides that cause radioactive pollution descend to the bottom in marine and water environments such as heavy metals and accumulate in bottom sediments. It is useful to determine the radionuclides in these environments in order to control the damage that accumulated radionuclides can cause to the environment. Radioactive pollution can harm people directly or through the food chain. In this study, natural and artificial radionuclide values were measured in current sediment samples taken from the seabed in the western part of the Marmara Sea. Gamma spectrometry method was used in radionuclide examinations. In gamma spectrometry studies of sediments, values of radionuclid (40K, 137Cs, 226Ra, 54Mn, 95Z and 232Th) were determined. Sea depths where 18 analyzed sea floor sediments are taken vary between 15-50 m. The determined radionuclide concentration activity values of the study area are 137Cs (0.9 - 9.4 (Bq / kg)), 232Th (18.9 - 86 (Bq / kg)), 226Ra (10 - 50 (Bq / kg)), 40K (24.4 - 670 (Bq / kg)), 54Mn (0.71-0.9 (Bq / kg)) and 95Zr (0.18 - 0.19 (Bq / kg)). These values were correlated with the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). The 226Ra series, 232Th series and 40K radionuclides accumulate naturally and their concentrations increase gradually due to anthropogenic impurities. 226Ra values obtained across the study areas are within normal limits according to UNSCEAR values. 40K and 232Th values were higher than UNSCEAR values in all locations. The presence of 137Cs (0.9 - 9.4 (Bq / kg) from almost all locations reveals the presence of a risky situation in terms of ambient conditions. Because this element cannot be found in the natural environment and can be found artificially as an end of radioactivity.