Sedimentary Processes: Quantification Using Radionuclides book cover

Sedimentary Processes: Quantification Using Radionuclides

The advent of radionuclide methods in geochronology has revolutionized our understanding of modern sedimentary processes in aquatic systems. This book examines the principles of the method and its use as a quantitative tool in marine geology, with emphasis on the Pb-210 method. The assumptions and consequences of models and their behaviour are described providing the necessary background to assess the advantages and trade-offs involved when choosing a particular model for application. One of the purposes of this volume is to disentangle the influences of complicating factors, such as sediment flux variations, post-depositional diffusion of radionuclides, and bio-irrigation of sediments, to arrive at sediment ages and to properly assess the attendant data uncertainty. Environmental impacts of chemical, nuclear, or other waste material are of concern in a variety of areas around the world today. A number of relevant examples are included, demonstrating how dating models are useful for determining sources of contaminants and interpreting their influence on the environment.

The book is set at a level so that an able student or professional should have no difficulty in following the procedures and methods developed. Each chapter includes case histories showing the strengths and weaknesses of a given procedure with respect to a data example. Included with this volume is the computer source code of a new generation of modelling tools based on inverse numerical analysis techniques. This first generation of the modelling tool is included, along with detailed instructions and examples for its use, in an appendix.

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Published: September 2003

Imprint: Elsevier

ISBN: 978-0-08-044300-3

Reviews

  • ...the book is a recommendable reference for professionals engaged in modelling of radiotracers in sedimentary environments.
    W. Geibert, Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies


    ...this book must be seen as major contribution to the field. ...It deserves to be widely read by those with an interest in using radionuclides as a tool to investigate sedimentation in freshwater and marine environments, and it will undoubtedly provide an invaluable source of guidance to both new and established workers in this important field.
    D.E. Walling, Applied Radiation and Isotopes

Contents

  • Preface. 1. Introduction. A. Non-radioactive dating methods. B. Stable isotopes and other indicators of relative age. C. Radioactive isotope age dating. D. Applications of isotope age dating. 2. Radiometric methods. A. Basic procedure. B. Advanced procedures. C. Synthetic tests and results. D. Method comparison. Appendix: Technical development of SIT method for unmixed sediments. 3. Single site studies. A. Lake sediments and 210Pb geochronology. B. Marine sediments and multi-isotope geochronology. C. Creel Bay and Main Bay, Devil's Lake, North Dakota. D. Discussion and conclusions. Appendix: Resolution and uncertainty for disentanglement procedures. 4. Multiple site studies. A. Amazon delta test case. B. 87Sr/86Sr sediment ages in stratigraphy studies. C. Eastern Arabian Sea. 5. Sediment mixing. A. Introduction. B. Basic model. C. Organism-specific models. D. Physical turbation. E. A sediment model with bioturbation. F. Applications and limitations. 6. Biological mixing coefficients. A. Simple linear adsorption. B. Diffusion. C. Microscale diffusion. D. Bulk diffusion. E. Near surficial rapid mixing. F. Partition coefficients effects. 7. Marine contaminant studies. A. Sources of polyaromatic hydrocarbons in the White Sea. B. Burial history of radioactive waste in the Kara Sea. C. Incorporation of uranium mill tailings into North Pond, Colorado. D. Organic carbon preservation in Lake Baikal sediments, Russia. 8. Concerning error estimates in age dating of stage boundaries. A. Introduction. B. Minimum error interpolation. C. Combined absolute and stratigraphic radiometric errors. D. General age/stage interpolations. E. A corollary. 9. Epilogue. References. Subject Index.

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