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Sat Dec 17 10:13:44 CST 2011

----- Original Message -----
From: farbersa at
Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 2:09 pm
Subject: Radiation Exposure Near Chernobyl Based on Analysis of Satellite
Images of Tree Damage

> Hi all,
> Related to my preceding post based on general recollections of the 
> paper presented by Dr. Marvin Goldman at an HPS annual meeting in 1987, 
> I  quickly found a few references to the early work of Dr. Goldman 
> and a summary from one of his later papers about radiation dose to 
> trees, tree damage, and tree regrowth as of 10 years after the Chernobyl
> Stewart Farber
> Consulting Scientist
> 1285 Wood Ave.
> Bridgeport, CT 06604
> [203] 441-8433 [office]
> =============
> Goldman, M. and S. Ustin, "Radiation Exposure Near Chernobyl Based 
> on  Analysis of Satellite Images," Report to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, 
> December, 1987.
> Also From:
> The Russian Radiation Legacy: Its Integrated Impact and Lessons
> Marvin Goldman
> Professor of Radiobiology Emeritus, University of California, 
> Davis,  California
> ".....The most intense part of the radioactive footprint left a 
> unique environmental marker. We were able to use satellite images to 
> delineate the Chernobyl damage to the adjacent radiosensitive pine forest 
> that runs 8 to 10 km west of the Chernobyl reactor (5)]. Infrared images 
> were taken weekly by the Landsat 4 Thematic Mapper Satellite as it passed 
> over most of the Earth. Images from the Chernobyl region were used and by 
> enhancing the infrared reflectance wavelengths for those bands
corresponding to chlorophyll and moisture, it was possible to discern living
from dead pine trees. Thus, from an altitude of about 700 km, a crude
spatial and temporal map of the heaviest hit region was developed. Because 
> pine trees have about a median lethal dose of 6 Gy (6), the images,
beginning approximately 3 weeks after the accident, indicated a western 
> swath of  dying and dead trees, the so-called red forest. It was later 
> learned that the map was correct but the doses were not. The trees
actually had received doses of over 100 Gy (7), but regardless of the dose,
>  technique showed where the doses exceeded a 6-Gy detection 
> threshold. Over the next 10 years, much of the damaged forest left
standing has shown major regrowth and repair. The more resistant deciduous
> showed significantly less radiation damage than other types of trees."


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at] On Behalf Of Roger Helbig
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:34 AM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] PBS News Hour on Fukushima

Please, watch this and comment -
the report seems to be somewhat accurate, but it also seems to have gotten
things confused between Chernobyl and Fukushima.  For example, I doubt that
forest near Chernboyl died because of Cs-137 contamination and died because
of much higher level contamination unique to Chernobyl.

I also note that almost no one is really dressed in proper radiation
protective clothing and that makes me wonder just how hazardous this
environment really is.

Roger Helbig
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