Plutonium concentration in sediment cores collected in the Mediterranean Sea

Roberta Delfanti, Donatella Desideri, Walter Martinotti, M. Assunta Meli, Carlo Papucci, Giulio Queirazza, Corrado Testa, Cesare Triulzi

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As is well known, the determination of plutonium isotopes in the marine environment is of great importance to calculate the contamination due to the nuclear industry and to better understand sedimentation processes. In the last 20 years sea sediment cores have been collected in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea by four Italian research teams. The sampling depth ranged from 50 to 2800 m and the core lengths were 10-30 cm. The radioanalytical procedures were based on plutonium separation by anion exchange resins or by extraction chromatography with Microthene-TOPO; plutonium electroplating was performed before α-spectrometry. The final chemical yields were determined by spiking with236Pu or242Pu. In some cases238Pu could be detected. As far as the vertical profiles are concerned, no significant subsurface maxima resulted for the cores collected at greatest depth; on the contrary interesting peaks were found for cores collected at 50-100 m depth. © 1995 Elsevier Science BV. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187 - 193
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Delfanti, R., Desideri, D., Martinotti, W., Meli, M. A., Papucci, C., Queirazza, G., ... Triulzi, C. (1995). Plutonium concentration in sediment cores collected in the Mediterranean Sea. Science of the Total Environment, 173-174(C), 187 - 193.