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Records of change in salt marshes: a radiochronological study of three Westerschelde (SW Netherlands) marshes
Dyer, F.M.; Thomson, J.; Croudace, I.W.; Cox, R.; Wadsworth, R.A. (2002). Records of change in salt marshes: a radiochronological study of three Westerschelde (SW Netherlands) marshes. Environ. Sci. Technol. 36(5): 854-861. dx.doi.org/10.1021/es0110527
In: Environmental Science and Technology. American Chemical Society: Easton. ISSN 0013-936X; e-ISSN 1520-5851, meer
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  • Dyer, F.M.
  • Thomson, J.
  • Croudace, I.W.
  • Cox, R.
  • Wadsworth, R.A.

Abstract
    Three salt marshes on a 50-km transect along the north bank of the Westerschelde Estuary were investigated to determine whether salt marshes in the estuary had responded to shipping channel modifications in recent decades. Marsh accretion rates were estimated mainly from 137Cs profiles with further evidence from 241Am because changes in both rate of deposition and nature of the accreting material precluded use of standard 210Pbexcess dating models. The 137Cs profiles usually show peaks corresponding to atmospheric deposition from the 1963 fallout maximum and sometimes from the Chernobyl accident, although intervening enhanced 137Cs activities derived from the nuclear reprocessing marine discharges of Sellafield and La Hague are clearly discernible. In all three marshes (Ritthem at the mouth of the estuary and Zuidgors and Waarde at 20 and 45 km upstream), a marked, near-coincident change in the rate of accumulation and in the grain size of material deposited occurred around 1980. This may be related to a combination of channel deepening and straightening operations undertaken in the mid-1970s and/or natural changes in winter wave climate.

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