Predicting soil to plant transfer of radiocesium using soil characteristics

J. P. Absalom*, S. D. Young, N. M.J. Crout, Anne Nisbet, R. F.M. Woodman, E. Smolders, A. G. Gillett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


A model is presented that dynamically estimates the radiocesium activity in herbage from readily available soil parameters. Three key properties underlying the bioavailability of radiocesium in soils were estimated in the model: the labile radiocesium distribution coefficient (k(dl)), the solution K+ concentration ([m(K)]), and the radiocesium concentration factor (CF, Bq kg-1 plant/Bq dm-3 soil solution). These were determined as functions of the soil clay content and exchangeable K status. The effect of time on radiocesium fixation was described by two first-order decay equations. The model was initially parametrized using radiocesium uptake data from a ryegrass pot trial. Without further parameterization, the model was them tested for a wide range of soil and crop combinations using a database of published and unpublished information from a variety of sources and covering contamination time periods of 0.5-11 years. Model predictions of activity concentrations in crops were in generally good agreement with observed values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1218-1223
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 1999


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