A STUDY OF THE DYNAMICS OF SUSPENDED MATTER BY MEANS OF NATURAL RADIOACTIVE TRACERS: AN APPLICATION TO THE GIRONDE ESTUARY

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SUMMARY

The determination of the natural radioelements in suspended matter in rivers and estuaries, lead to a simple relation between gamma activity and turbidity T, such as Nt=aTb (Nt counting rate caused by turbidity, a and b experimental coefficients). A new turbidimetry method is based on this relation and discussed here. In situ measurements have been conducted with field gamma scintillometers and compared with different turbidimetry methods, such as nephelometry, gravi-metry and gamma ray absorptiometry. This method has been particularly convenient to continuous in situ measurements of turbidity from 0.5 g to several hundreds of g/1. This broad range is very well adapted to turbidity studies in estuaries.

The new method has been applied to study suspended matter dynamics in the Gironde estuary (France) during November 1968, as a part of a more general study of natural radioactivity in terrigenous sediments brought into the ocean.

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