Assimilation and transport of organic bound tritium in an irrigated pine forest

Martine C. Duff, Wendy W. Kuhne, Brian James Viner, Ashlee Swindle, Amanda L. Houk, Steven Chiswell, Douglas B. Hunter, Omar E. Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The speciation of radioactive tritium (T) in a naturally-established subtropical loblolly pine forest that has been irrigated with highly-contaminated pond water for the last 20 years is reported. This irrigation project was created to limit the underground transport of a tritium-rich plume which also contains low levels of toxic organics, metals and radionuclides such as carbon-14 (14C) from a nearby low-level waste burial ground. The levels of tritiated water (HTO) in the wood cores were not influenced by recent irrigation activities. However, the tritium levels in the last 20 years of tree growth were more than 3-fold higher than that of tritium in the older growth. This was due to recent irrigation with organic-bound tritium (OBT)-rich water and subsequent accumulation of high levels tritium as OBT relative to tissue HTO. High levels of pond irrigation water OBT resulted from biogenic processes that converted HTO to OBT. Data for 14C that were acquired for some of the forest materials indicated that the processes controlling the movement and accumulation of 14C in this system are somewhat different than that of tritium. Spectroscopic characterization of tree core tissue of <20 years in age found no explanation for the unusually wide dark growth rings. It was concluded that the trees were over-irrigated based on results from other published studies with wood from severely-flooded areas. Although HTO is indeed toxic to biota, OBT represents a relatively greater hazard to biota because it can be bioaccumulated and retained for long periods of time in living tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-949
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Fingerprint

Tritium
tritium
Irrigation
irrigation
Biota
Water
Poisons
Ponds
Tissue
biota
Wood
Forests
assimilation
Pinus taeda
Growth
pond
Burial
water
Radioisotopes
carbon isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Assimilation and transport of organic bound tritium in an irrigated pine forest. / Duff, Martine C.; Kuhne, Wendy W.; Viner, Brian James; Swindle, Ashlee; Houk, Amanda L.; Chiswell, Steven; Hunter, Douglas B.; Rivera, Omar E.

In: Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, Vol. 21, No. 6, 01.06.2019, p. 938-949.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Duff, MC, Kuhne, WW, Viner, BJ, Swindle, A, Houk, AL, Chiswell, S, Hunter, DB & Rivera, OE 2019, 'Assimilation and transport of organic bound tritium in an irrigated pine forest', Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 938-949. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9em00165d
Duff, Martine C. ; Kuhne, Wendy W. ; Viner, Brian James ; Swindle, Ashlee ; Houk, Amanda L. ; Chiswell, Steven ; Hunter, Douglas B. ; Rivera, Omar E. / Assimilation and transport of organic bound tritium in an irrigated pine forest. In: Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts. 2019 ; Vol. 21, No. 6. pp. 938-949.
@article{aaaf5e2f1e054f8cae01ffd58f5e0afb,
title = "Assimilation and transport of organic bound tritium in an irrigated pine forest",
abstract = "The speciation of radioactive tritium (T) in a naturally-established subtropical loblolly pine forest that has been irrigated with highly-contaminated pond water for the last 20 years is reported. This irrigation project was created to limit the underground transport of a tritium-rich plume which also contains low levels of toxic organics, metals and radionuclides such as carbon-14 (14C) from a nearby low-level waste burial ground. The levels of tritiated water (HTO) in the wood cores were not influenced by recent irrigation activities. However, the tritium levels in the last 20 years of tree growth were more than 3-fold higher than that of tritium in the older growth. This was due to recent irrigation with organic-bound tritium (OBT)-rich water and subsequent accumulation of high levels tritium as OBT relative to tissue HTO. High levels of pond irrigation water OBT resulted from biogenic processes that converted HTO to OBT. Data for 14C that were acquired for some of the forest materials indicated that the processes controlling the movement and accumulation of 14C in this system are somewhat different than that of tritium. Spectroscopic characterization of tree core tissue of <20 years in age found no explanation for the unusually wide dark growth rings. It was concluded that the trees were over-irrigated based on results from other published studies with wood from severely-flooded areas. Although HTO is indeed toxic to biota, OBT represents a relatively greater hazard to biota because it can be bioaccumulated and retained for long periods of time in living tissues.",
author = "Duff, {Martine C.} and Kuhne, {Wendy W.} and Viner, {Brian James} and Ashlee Swindle and Houk, {Amanda L.} and Steven Chiswell and Hunter, {Douglas B.} and Rivera, {Omar E.}",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1039/c9em00165d",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "21",
pages = "938--949",
journal = "Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts",
issn = "2050-7887",
publisher = "Royal Society of Chemistry",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assimilation and transport of organic bound tritium in an irrigated pine forest

AU - Duff, Martine C.

AU - Kuhne, Wendy W.

AU - Viner, Brian James

AU - Swindle, Ashlee

AU - Houk, Amanda L.

AU - Chiswell, Steven

AU - Hunter, Douglas B.

AU - Rivera, Omar E.

PY - 2019/6/1

Y1 - 2019/6/1

N2 - The speciation of radioactive tritium (T) in a naturally-established subtropical loblolly pine forest that has been irrigated with highly-contaminated pond water for the last 20 years is reported. This irrigation project was created to limit the underground transport of a tritium-rich plume which also contains low levels of toxic organics, metals and radionuclides such as carbon-14 (14C) from a nearby low-level waste burial ground. The levels of tritiated water (HTO) in the wood cores were not influenced by recent irrigation activities. However, the tritium levels in the last 20 years of tree growth were more than 3-fold higher than that of tritium in the older growth. This was due to recent irrigation with organic-bound tritium (OBT)-rich water and subsequent accumulation of high levels tritium as OBT relative to tissue HTO. High levels of pond irrigation water OBT resulted from biogenic processes that converted HTO to OBT. Data for 14C that were acquired for some of the forest materials indicated that the processes controlling the movement and accumulation of 14C in this system are somewhat different than that of tritium. Spectroscopic characterization of tree core tissue of <20 years in age found no explanation for the unusually wide dark growth rings. It was concluded that the trees were over-irrigated based on results from other published studies with wood from severely-flooded areas. Although HTO is indeed toxic to biota, OBT represents a relatively greater hazard to biota because it can be bioaccumulated and retained for long periods of time in living tissues.

AB - The speciation of radioactive tritium (T) in a naturally-established subtropical loblolly pine forest that has been irrigated with highly-contaminated pond water for the last 20 years is reported. This irrigation project was created to limit the underground transport of a tritium-rich plume which also contains low levels of toxic organics, metals and radionuclides such as carbon-14 (14C) from a nearby low-level waste burial ground. The levels of tritiated water (HTO) in the wood cores were not influenced by recent irrigation activities. However, the tritium levels in the last 20 years of tree growth were more than 3-fold higher than that of tritium in the older growth. This was due to recent irrigation with organic-bound tritium (OBT)-rich water and subsequent accumulation of high levels tritium as OBT relative to tissue HTO. High levels of pond irrigation water OBT resulted from biogenic processes that converted HTO to OBT. Data for 14C that were acquired for some of the forest materials indicated that the processes controlling the movement and accumulation of 14C in this system are somewhat different than that of tritium. Spectroscopic characterization of tree core tissue of <20 years in age found no explanation for the unusually wide dark growth rings. It was concluded that the trees were over-irrigated based on results from other published studies with wood from severely-flooded areas. Although HTO is indeed toxic to biota, OBT represents a relatively greater hazard to biota because it can be bioaccumulated and retained for long periods of time in living tissues.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067553921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85067553921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1039/c9em00165d

DO - 10.1039/c9em00165d

M3 - Article

C2 - 31179456

AN - SCOPUS:85067553921

VL - 21

SP - 938

EP - 949

JO - Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts

JF - Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts

SN - 2050-7887

IS - 6

ER -