Cite this paper:
Lin Wuhui, Feng Yu, Yu Kefu, Lan Wenlu, Mo Zhenni, Ning Qiuyun, Feng Liangliang, He Xianwen. Characteristics of radionuclides in sediments collected from the Beibu Gulf and influence factors[J]. Haiyang Xuebao, 2020, 42(2): 143-154

Characteristics of radionuclides in sediments collected from the Beibu Gulf and influence factors

Lin Wuhui1,2, Feng Yu1, Yu Kefu1,2, Lan Wenlu3, Mo Zhenni4, Ning Qiuyun4, Feng Liangliang5, He Xianwen5
1. School of Marine Sciences, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China;
2. Guangxi Laboratory on the Study of Coral Reefs in the South China Sea, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China;
3. Marine Environmental Monitoring Center of Guangxi, Beihai 536000, China;
4. Guangxi Academy of Oceanography, Nanning 530022, China;
5. Radiation-Environment Management and Monitoring Station of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning 530222, China
The Beibu Gulf is not only a key sea passage in the southwestern China but also one of important fishing grounds in the South China Sea (SCS). In this study, naturally occurring radionuclides (238U, 226Ra, 228Ra, and 40K) in surface sediments and sediment cores of the Beibu Gulf were comprehensively analyzed using high purity germanium (HPGe) γ spectrometry. Our results indicated that radioactivity level of sediments in the Beibu Gulf was lower than that in most of China's seas and was higher than the extremely low radioactivity level of sediments in coral reefs. All nuclides in surface sediments of the Beibu Gulf had a spatial distribution of “butterfly pattern”, attributing to the non-linear regulation of sediment grain size and positive role of total organic carbon in sediment. Additionally, redox state and physical/biological disturbance derived from the proxies of Mn and 210Pb could also affect vertical distribution of redox-sensitive nuclide (eg, 238U) in sediment cores. On the basis of the 232Th/238U, 40K/238U, and 226Ra/238U activity ratio, we found that sediments of the Beibu Gulf had terrigenous characteristics, which were significantly different from biogenic sediments in coral reefs. Our study provided radioactivity level in the Beibu Gulf under the background of the rapid development of nuclear power plant, revealed the "butterfly pattern" of radionuclides and their influence factors, and explored the feasibility of novel geochemical proxies based on radionuclides in marine sedimentation.
Key words:    radionuclide    nuclear power plant    redox-sensitive element    geochemical proxy    sedimentation   
Received: 2019-04-25   Revised: 2019-07-03
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