Use of Trace Radioactivity to Identify Recent Sedimentation Rate in Persian Gulf

Masoud Beitollahi
Idaho State University
Department of Physics

A total of eight frozen sediment core samples from north part of the Persian Gulf were analyzed for Lead-210 (210Pb), Radium-226 (226Ra) and Caesium-137 (137Cs) using Alpha and Gamma spectrometry techniques. The depth where the 137Cs concentration was at detectable levels by Gamma spectrometry were marked as 1954 (137Cs horizon). Due to the generally low concentration of the anthropogenic fallout in this region, there was not any clear or sharp evidence for increased 137Cs in1986 (Chernobyl accident) or 1963 (increase in nuclear testing). Therefore 137Cs profiles were used as a qualitative procedure of dating in this study.
The results showed sedimentation rates in this region varied from a minimum of 0.20 cm y-1 to a maximum of 1.01 cm y-1 corresponding to the 0.29 g cm-2 y-1 and 1.62 g cm-2 y-1 dry mass of sediments accumulated per year respectively.