2015 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 219-227
We conducted a sequential chemical extraction experiment for radiocesium (134Cs + 137Cs) using 21 surface sediment samples and two sets of size-fractionated surface sediment samples collected offshore Fukushima. Our results support earlier reports in this area that organic substances in marine sediments have an apparently higher preference for radiocesium than mineral substances. Observations suggest that mineral and organic substances in the marine sediments offshore Fukushima have the same order of preference for radiocesium, primarily because of the existence of ionic competitors in seawater. The apparent preference of radiocesium for organic material is greater because of the partial coverage of sediment mineral surfaces by organic substances. By using these relationships, we created a 2-D map of radiocesium concentration in sediment organic fraction in offshore-Fukushima region. Combining our results with existing monitoring data of marine benthos in offshore-Fukushima sediments, we estimated a transfer coefficient of radiocesium from sediment organic materials to benthic polychaetes as less than 0.03–0.008.