Continental margins are important areas to be considered when studying the distributions and depositions of pollutants, both conventional and radioactive. Coastal sediments accumulate most of those contaminants which can be introduced following atmospheric and/or fluvial pathways. Moreover, their residence times within the water column are usually shortened due to their affinity to associate with the downward falling particulate matter, more abundant at shallower depths. In this paper, the distribution profiles and inventories of plutonium, americium and cesium are detailed, providing useful information about recent sedimentation phenomena such as sediment mixing, slumping processes and bioturbation. Unsupported210Pb data are used as reliable indicators of enhanced/reduced deposition events. Also, the calculated inventories have enabled the estimation of the radiological contribution of the Spanish Mediterranean margin to the total radioactivity deposited onto the Mediterranean sea floor. Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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