Spatial distribution, radiological risk assessment and positive matrix factorization of gamma-emitting radionuclides in the sediment of the Boka Kotorska Bay

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Abstract

Surface sediment from the Boka Kotorska Bay (Adriatic Sea) was analyzed for the content of technogenic cesium (137Cs) and naturally occurring (40K, 226Ra, 232Th, 238U) radionuclides. The activity concentrations of the radionuclides have been correlated with the major elements (Si, Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Ti, P, Mn) content of sediment samples. The spatial interpolation identified primordial radioactivity more pronounced in the inland of the bay. Correlation and hierarchical cluster analyses clearly distinguished 226Ra, 232Th, and 238U from 137Cs. In addition, a strong association between primordial radionuclides and most major elements was found. Positive matrix factorization apportioned technogenic and natural radionuclides sources, while Si and Ca were separated from other elements. Radiological hazard parameters (Raeq, D, AEDE, Hin, Hex, AGDE, AUI) that include the doses and indices, and the excess lifetime cancer risk indicate that the risk in the studied area due to gamma radiation is within the acceptable level.

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Radomirović, M., Stanković, S., Mandić, M., Jović, M., Mandić, L. J., Dragović, S., & Onjia, A. (2021). Spatial distribution, radiological risk assessment and positive matrix factorization of gamma-emitting radionuclides in the sediment of the Boka Kotorska Bay. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112491

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