GIS supported calculations of Cs-137 deposition in Sweden based on precipitation data

Sara Almgren, Elisabeth Nilsson, Bengt Erlandsson, Mats Isaksson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is of interest to know the spatial variation and the amount of Cs-137 e.g. in case of an accident with a radioactive discharge. In this study, the spatial distribution of the quarterly Cs-137 deposition over Sweden due to nuclear weapons fallout (NWF) during the period 1962-1966 was determined by relating the measured deposition density at a reference site to the amount of precipitation. Measured quarterly values of Cs-137 deposition density per unit precipitation at three reference sites and quarterly precipitation at 62 weather stations distributed over Sweden were used in the calculations. The reference sites were assumed to represent areas with different quarterly mean precipitation. The extent of these areas was determined from the distribution of the mean measured precipitation between 1961 and 1990 and varied according to seasonal variations in the mean precipitation pattern. Deposition maps were created by interpolation within a geographical information system (GIS). Both integrated (total) and cumulative (decay corrected) deposition densities were calculated. The lowest levels of NWF Cs-137 deposition density were noted in north-eastern and eastern parts of Sweden and the highest levels in the western parts of Sweden. Furthermore the deposition density of Cs-137 resulting from the Chernobyl accident was determined for an area in western Sweden based on precipitation data. The highest levels of Chernobyl Cs-137 in western Sweden were found in the western parts of the area along the coast and the lowest in the east. The sum of the deposition densities from NWF and Chernobyl in western Sweden was then compared to the total activity measured in soil samples at 27 locations. Comparisons between the predicted values of this study show a good agreement with measured values and other studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-813
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Environmental Sciences


  • caesium
  • precipitation
  • deposition
  • NWF
  • Chernobyl
  • GIS


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