Van Thang Nguyen,  Nguyen Phong Thu Huynh , Ngoc Ba Vu,  Cong Hao Le

 Agricultural Water Management 243 (2021) 106453


Groundwater and inorganic fertilizers are regularly applied to agricultural soils, but their 226Ra content is potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. Due to irrigation and fertilization processes, 226Ra can accumulate in topsoils, and might also leach to subsoils, groundwater, and surface water. However, there are few studies on the accumulation of radium in the agricultural soils due to irrigation with groundwater. In this work, we analysed the radium content in 60 groundwater samples collected from a coastal area of Phu Yen Province, Vietnam where groundwater is regularly used for irrigation practices. Long-term accumulation of 226Ra in agricultural topsoils due to irrigation with groundwater was modelled for rice, maize, potato, and tomato top- soils. The fate of 226Ra in the topsoil (0–20 cm) was studied by using the Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre (CEMC) soil model and the HYDRUS-1D model. We found that the total inputs of 226Ra were 0.83, 2.45, 0.24, and 0.57 Bq m−2 d−1 for rice, maize, potato, and tomato soils, respectively. The total removals were 0.145, 0.236, 0.272, and 0.125 Bq m−2 d-1 found in rice, maize, potato, and tomato soils, respectively. A simple formula was developed to calculate the accumulation rate of 226Ra in the topsoil. Using this model we predict that the activity concentration of 226Ra will increase in rice, maize, and tomato soil, but will remain almost unchanged in potato soils. The accumulation rates 226Ra were 224, 791, and 115 Bq m−2 y−1. After 25 years of agricultural practices, the total activity values of 226Ra that accumulate in rice, maize, and tomato soils can reach 5147, 17278, and 2711 Bq m−2, respectively. We found the good agreements in the results based on two models. The irrigation practices with groundwater samples contribute 96.7, 79.5, and 79.8 % of 226Ra to the accumulation rates of 226Ra in rice, maize, and tomato soils, respectively.

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