• A Recent History of 14C, 137Cs, 210Pb, and 241Am Accumulation at Two Irish Peat Bog Sites: An East versus West Coast Comparison

      Gallagher, Donal; McGee, E. J.; Mitchell, P. I. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Data on radiocarbon (14C), 137Cs, 210Pb, and 241Am levels in an ombrotrophic peat sequence from a montane site on the east coast of Ireland are compared with data from a similar sequence at an Atlantic peatland site on the west coast. The 14C profiles from the west and east coasts show a broadly similar pattern. Levels increase from 100 pMC or less in the deepest horizons examined, to peak values at the west and east coast sites of 117 +/0.6 pMC and 132 +/0.7 pMC, respectively (corresponding to maximal fallout from nuclear weapons testing around 1964), thereafter diminishing to levels of 110-113 pMC near the surface. Significantly, peak levels at the east coast site are considerably higher than corresponding levels at the west coast site, though both are lower than reported peak values for continental regions. The possibility of significant 14C enrichment at the east coast site due to past discharges from nuclear installations in the UK seems unlikely. The 210Pb(ex) inventory at the east coast site (6500 Bq m-2 is significantly higher than at the west coast (5300 Bq m-2) and is consistent with the difference in rainfall at the two sites. Finally, 137Cs and 241Am inventories at the east coast site also exceed those at the west coast site by similar proportions (east:west ratio of approximately 1:1.2).