Environmental Radionuclides - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080438733, 9780080913292

Environmental Radionuclides, Volume 16

1st Edition

Tracers and Timers of Terrestrial Processes

Editors: Klaus Froehlich
eBook ISBN: 9780080913292
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080438733
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 8th October 2009
Page Count: 432
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Table of Contents

Radioactivity in the Environment



Chapter 1 Origin and Distribution of Radionuclides in the Continental Environment

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Primordial and Natural Decay-Series Radionuclides

3. Cosmogenic Radionuclides

4. Anthropogenic Radionuclides


Chapter 2 Radionuclides as Tracers and Timers of Processes in the Continental Environment – Basic Concepts and Methodologies

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Radioactive Decay – Fundamentals of Radiometric Dating

3. The Concept of Residence Time in Environmental Systems

4. On the Definition of Environmental Tracers


Chapter 3 Radionuclides as Tracers of Atmospheric Processes

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Atmospheric Radionuclides

3. Behaviour of Radionuclides in the Atmosphere

4. Application of Radionuclides in Atmospheric Studies


Chapter 4 Radiocarbon as a Tracer in the Global Carbon Cycle

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Global Distribution of Carbon

3. The Conventional Radiocarbon Dating Technique

4. Methods of Isotope Measurement

5. Definition, Calculation and Reporting of C Isotope Enrichment Values

6. 14C as a Tracer

7. Radiocarbon Literature

8. A Look Forward


Chapter 5 Radionuclides as Tracers and Timers in Surface and Groundwater

Publisher Summary

5.1 Surface Water, Unsaturated Zone, and Glacial Systems

5.3 Dynamics and Pollution of Groundwater


Chapter 6 Examining Processes and Rates of Landscape Change with Cosmogenic Radionuclides

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Principles of Cosmogenic Nuclide Research

3. Mineral–Nuclide Pairs

4. Determining Rates of Landscape Evolution with Cosmogenic Nuclides

5. New Directions and Outlook



Chapter 7 Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Studies Using Environmental Radionuclides

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Radionuclides as Tracers of Soil Movement

3. Standardisation of the 137Cs Technique to Measure Soil Erosion/Deposition

4. Recent Developments of Fallout Radionuclide Techniques

5. Applications of Fallout Radionuclides in Soil Erosion/Sedimentation Studies

6. Future Research

7. Concluding Remarks


Chapter 8 Isotopic Tracers in Climatology

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Role of Environmental Isotopes in Understanding Climate Changes

3. Environmental Stable Isotopes and Radionuclides in Palaeo-Climatic Archives

4. Conclusions



Chapter 9 Analysis of Radionuclides

Publisher Summary

1. Introduction

2. Radiometry

3. Isotopic Enrichment

4. Mass Spectrometry

5. Future Perspectives


Author Index

Subject Index


Environmental Radionuclides presents a state-of-the-art summary of knowledge on the use of radionuclides to study processes and systems in the continental part of the Earth’s environment. It is conceived as a companion to the two volumes of this series, which deal with isotopes as tracers in the marine environment (Livingston, Marine Radioactivity) and with the radioecology of natural and man-made terrestrial systems (Shaw, Radioactivity in Terrestrial Ecosystems). Although the book focuses on natural and anthropogenic radionuclides (radioactive isotopes), it also refers to stable environmental isotopes, which in a variety of applications, especially in hydrology and climatology, have to be consulted to evaluate radionuclide measurements in terms of the ages of groundwater and climate archives, respectively.

The basic principles underlying the various applications of natural and anthropogenic radionuclides in environmental studies are described in the first part of the book. The book covers the two major groups of applications: the use of radionuclides as tracers for studying transport and mixing processes: and as time markers to address problems of the dynamics of such systems, manifested commonly as the so-called residence time in these systems. The applications range from atmospheric pollution studies, via water resource assessments to contributions to global climate change investigation. The third part of the book addresses new challenges in the development of new methodological approaches, including analytical methods and fields of applications.

Key Features

  • A state-of-the-art summary of knowledge on the use of radionuclides
  • Conceived as a companion to the two volumes of this series, which deal with isotopes as tracers


international associations for geological, geophysical, hydrogeological, hydrological and atmospheric sciences


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© Elsevier Science 2010
Elsevier Science
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About the Editors

Klaus Froehlich Editor