Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2020-72
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2020-72

  19 Oct 2020

19 Oct 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESurf.

The effects of topography and soil properties on radiocesium concentrations in forest soils in Fukushima, Japan

Misa Yasumiishi1, Taku Nishimura2, Jared Aldstadt1, Sean J. Bennett1, and Thomas Bittner1 Misa Yasumiishi et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, State University of New York, the University at Buffalo
  • 2Laboratory.of Soil Physics and Soil Hydrology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Abstract. This research collected forest soil samples from Fukushima, Japan, where the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident contaminated the land. The purpose of this study was to examine how the local topography influenced the radiocesium (Cs-137) accumulation patterns in soils over the years since the accident. As an analytical method, the general additive model (GAM) was used to determine at what percentages the topographic parameters explain Cs-137 contamination levels down to a depth of 30 cm. For comparison, topographic parameters were extracted from both 1 m and 10 m digital evaluation models (DEMs). The effects of topography were compared with the effects of the soil water content and dry soil bulk density. An additional Tukey’s honestly significant difference (HSD) test was conducted to determine the significance of the hillslope aspect and vegetation cover differences on concentration predictions. The results showed that, at this study site, topographic parameters extracted from the 10 m DEM better predicted Cs-137 levels. The models with a single topographic parameter did not explain Cs-137 levels higher than 30 %. However, combining the parameters improved the explanation percentages. The relative influences of topographic parameters and soil properties were similar throughout the soil depth, showing their subsurface co-functionalities for Cs-137 concentration levels. Tukey’s HSD test results showed the inter-effects of topography and vegetation cover differences. The results of this study indicate that the selection of topographic parameters, as well as the chosen methods of their extractions, have implications for physical models assessing radionuclide contamination levels.

Misa Yasumiishi et al.

 
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment

Misa Yasumiishi et al.

Misa Yasumiishi et al.

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Short summary
This study demonstrates a method that analyzes radioactive contamination in forest soils, incorporating topographic parameters in the analysis. Soil samples were collected in Fukushima, Japan, where a nuclear accident had contaminated the land in 2011. The degrees to which topographic parameters explain contamination levels were calculated using a flexible regression model. This study's findings contribute to further understanding of the behavior of a radioactive contaminant in forests.