Diffusion is a standard model for the vertical migration of radionuclides in soil profiles. Here we show that diffusivity values inferred from fallout 137CS profiles in soils on the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan, Nye County, Nevada, have a strong inverse correlation with the age of the geomorphic surface. This result suggests that radionuclide-bound particles are predominantly transported by infiltration rather than by bulk-mixing processes such as wetting/ drying, freeze/thaw, and bioturbation. Our results provide a preliminary basis for using soil-geomorphic mapping, point-based calibration data, and the diffusion model to predict radionuclide trans desert soils within a pedotransfer-function approach. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Geomorphic control of radionuclide diffusion in desert soils