Modelling of the natural chlorine cycling in a coniferous stand: implications for chlorine-36 behaviour in a contaminated forest environment

Catherine Van den Hoof, Yves Thiry, Hildegarde Vandenhove

    Research outputpeer-review


    Considered as one of the most available radionuclide in soileplant system, 36Cl is of potential concern for long-term management of radioactive wastes, due to its high mobility and its long half-life. To evaluate the risk of dispersion and accumulation of 36Cl in the biosphere as a consequence of a potential contamination, there is a need for an appropriate understanding of the chlorine cycling dynamics in the ecosystems. In this study, a model involving inorganic as well as organic pools in soils has been developed and parameterised to describe the biogeochemical fate of chlorine in a pine forest. The model has been evaluated for stable chlorine by performing a range of sensitivity analyses and by comparing the simulated to the observed values. Finally a range of contamination scenarios, which differ in terms of external supply, exposure time and source, has been simulated to estimate the possible accumulation of 36Cl within the different compartments of the coniferous stand.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-67
    JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
    StatePublished - Jan 2012

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