Title: Exploring European Thematic Maps for Radioecology Modelling
Citation: Proceedigns of the 2nd International Conference on Radioactivity in the Environment p. 405-408
Publisher: Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority
Publication Year: 2005
JRC N°: JRC30933
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC30933
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been widely used for ecological modelling as they have been designed to simulate spatial aspects of our environment. These tools have also been extensively adapted to radioecology to model the behaviour of radionuclides in the environment. Among other applications, GIS have been used to map radioactive deposition patterns, assess the transfer of radionuclides in food chains and calculate external radiation doses. The apparent simplicity of these tools, their convincing approach and their aesthetic output can easily delude the users by hiding the many simplifications made in modelling the environment. Therefore, it is not a surprise that new research activities in the field of GIS largely focus on data uncertainty and error propagation. Radioecological modelling by means of GIS is particularly exposed to errors because it depends largely on transfer factors (TFs). These are defined as the ratio of the concentration of a radionuclide in a receiving compartment to the concentration in the source compartment. Hence, whether the models are able to predict correctly the behaviour of radionuclides in the environment depends largely on the quality of the thematic maps used to describe these compartments. Thus it appears that the fate of GIS in the field of radioecology will depend largely on developing datasets that are appropriate for describing the various ecological compartments. In this paper, we briefly review radioecological studies made by other authors who used GIS. Then we discuss the use and needs of thematic maps for radioecological modelling, with an emphasis on soil maps derived from the recently released European Soil Data Base. The latter are expected to play an important role in terrestrial radioecology, especially for studies at a continental scale. KEYWORDS: Radioecology, GIS, thematic maps, soil maps, modelling
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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