Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:30 PM
AMERICIUM (241AM) AS A PRACTICAL GEOCHRONOLOGICAL TOOL
The radionuclide Americium-241 (241Am) is a thermonuclear byproduct that has the potential to be utilized as a substitute for Cesium-137 (137Cs) in a geochronological context. 241Am with a half-life of approximately 432 (±10) years is quickly adsorbed to fine-grained sediments and can be measured by gamma emission using HPGe photon detectors. Sediment cores were analyzed for 137Cs and 241Am, showing similar vertical distribution and concurrent high peak activities.137Cs has been shown to migrate in organic rich sediments limiting its use in this type of environment as an age-dating tool. Since 241Am is considered to be less mobile, the focus of this study is to determine if 241Am has the potential to be more applicable than 137Cs in organic environments. 241Am could be used in place of, or in correlation with, additional age-dating radioisotopes to provide a useful stratigraphic marker for the height of nuclear testing in the early 1960s.