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Observations on Lake Sediments using Fallout 137Cs as a Tracer


SIGNIFICANT levels of caesium-137 from tests of nuclear weapons were first detected in the atmosphere in 1954; the maximum deposition1 occurred in 1963. It would be expected that a continuously accumulating lake sediment would incorporate 137Cs from fallout in a distribution pattern similar to that found from regular analysis of rain and air-borne particulate matter, provided that there has been no significant mixing in the sediment by diffusion or by the bottom fauna. Sediments from five lakes of the English Lake District have been analysed for 137Cs in order to test this hypothesis (Table 1).

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PENNINGTON, W., TUTIN, T., CAMBRAY, R. et al. Observations on Lake Sediments using Fallout 137Cs as a Tracer. Nature 242, 324–326 (1973).

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