Two peat columns from Tunguska (Siberia) were analysed for pollen, spores, charcoal, trace elements and g-emitters in order to identify the fingerprints of the impact of a still unidentified cosmic body (TCB), which occurred in the summer of 1908, and the level of environmental pollution in a background area of central Siberia. Peat layers were subject to non-destructive g-ray spectrometry to derive radiochronology by the excess 210Pb method. The age-to-depth relationship was crosschecked by using both 1963 horizon of 137Cs associated to maximum global fallout deposition and palynological data profiles. Vertical distributions of trace elements in the peat columns were obtained by PIXE multielemental analysis allowing determination of the levels of environmental contamination in a background region of the Siberian taiga. The association of heavy metals such as Ni, Co and Cu in the profiles suggests the connection of the area with mining and metal smelting activity in the north of the region through atmospheric circulation. As concerns global scale contamination, the inventory of the artificial radionuclide 137Cs (4.6 kBq m-2) shows a value typical of remote slightly contaminated areas resulting from global scale redistribution of radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear weapon testing. The atmospheric inventory of the natural radionuclide 210Pb, for which a mean annual flux of 200 Bq m-2 yr-1 has been calculated, is typical of continental regions. The influence of Tunguska Cosmic Body in the peat is recognizable by a large discontinuity in the palynological profile of the peat monolith at a depth coinciding with the 1908 layer as determined by the 210Pb technique, showing a large peak of total pollen counting attributed to the impact of the shockwave on the area in which huge tree stands were destroyed. Following the event, tree pollens concentration decreases abruptly showing the temporary inception of a mire environment with an increase of Sphagnum spore concentrations. Results of elemental analysis so far available do not show anomalies in the concentration profiles at depths coinciding with the Tunguska event layer indicating the need for pre-concentration technique enabling the detection of element associations typical of extraterrestrial materials

A multitracer study on peat profiles from Tunguska, Siberia

TOSITTI, LAURA;SANDRINI, SILVIA;FORLANI, LUISA;
2006

Abstract

Two peat columns from Tunguska (Siberia) were analysed for pollen, spores, charcoal, trace elements and g-emitters in order to identify the fingerprints of the impact of a still unidentified cosmic body (TCB), which occurred in the summer of 1908, and the level of environmental pollution in a background area of central Siberia. Peat layers were subject to non-destructive g-ray spectrometry to derive radiochronology by the excess 210Pb method. The age-to-depth relationship was crosschecked by using both 1963 horizon of 137Cs associated to maximum global fallout deposition and palynological data profiles. Vertical distributions of trace elements in the peat columns were obtained by PIXE multielemental analysis allowing determination of the levels of environmental contamination in a background region of the Siberian taiga. The association of heavy metals such as Ni, Co and Cu in the profiles suggests the connection of the area with mining and metal smelting activity in the north of the region through atmospheric circulation. As concerns global scale contamination, the inventory of the artificial radionuclide 137Cs (4.6 kBq m-2) shows a value typical of remote slightly contaminated areas resulting from global scale redistribution of radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear weapon testing. The atmospheric inventory of the natural radionuclide 210Pb, for which a mean annual flux of 200 Bq m-2 yr-1 has been calculated, is typical of continental regions. The influence of Tunguska Cosmic Body in the peat is recognizable by a large discontinuity in the palynological profile of the peat monolith at a depth coinciding with the 1908 layer as determined by the 210Pb technique, showing a large peak of total pollen counting attributed to the impact of the shockwave on the area in which huge tree stands were destroyed. Following the event, tree pollens concentration decreases abruptly showing the temporary inception of a mire environment with an increase of Sphagnum spore concentrations. Results of elemental analysis so far available do not show anomalies in the concentration profiles at depths coinciding with the Tunguska event layer indicating the need for pre-concentration technique enabling the detection of element associations typical of extraterrestrial materials
L. Tositti; M. Mingozzi; S. Sandrini; L. Forlani; M.C. Buoso; M. De Poli; D. Ceccato; D.Zafiropoulos
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/11050
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact