Plutonium AMS measurements in Yangtze River estuary sediment

S. G. Tims*, S. M. Pan, R. Zhang, L. K. Fifield, Y. P. Wang, J. H. Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    The Yangtze River is the largest single source of sediment to the continental shelf of the East China Sea. The quantity of material exported by the river is expected to decrease substantially as a consequence of an extensive continuing program of dam construction within the river catchment. We report here AMS measurements of plutonium isotope concentrations and ratios for selected depth increments from a sediment core, collected from the sub-aqueous delta of the Yangtze River estuary. The Pu derives from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s, and is potentially a useful tracer of sediment deposition times in the marine environment. The results show considerable structure in the depth-concentration profile, and offer an excellent opportunity to compare Pu with the more commonly used 137Cs isotopic tracer. The AMS data show superior sensitivity and indicate that the 240Pu/239Pu ratio can provide a check on the deposition dates. The changes in the 240Pu and 239Pu concentrations and the 240Pu/239Pu ratios with sediment depth all indicate the possibility of using Pu as a geochronological tool for coastal sediment studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1155-1158
    Number of pages4
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Issue number7-8
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


    Dive into the research topics of 'Plutonium AMS measurements in Yangtze River estuary sediment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this