Conversion coefficients of radionuclide deposition density to the ambient dose equivalent rate at 1 m height above ground were calculated for exponentially distributed sources in the ground. First, Monte Carlo transport simulations assuming exponential distributions in the ground were performed to obtain ambient dose equivalent for mono-energetic gamma-ray sources having different relaxation depths; next, on the basis of the simulated data, conversion coefficients for radionuclides were composed considering recent nuclear decay data. The ambient dose equivalent rates were then compared to the effective dose rates for reference adults and a new-born baby as well as to air kerma rates quoted from previous studies. It was confirmed that the ambient dose equivalent sufficiently overestimates effective doses, independently of age, for sources exponentially distributed in the ground. Furthermore, the air kerma was found to also overestimate the effective doses for all ages in the same conditions. In order to verify the computed conversion coefficients, the ratio of ambient dose equivalent to air kerma obtained by simulation was compared to the ratios measured at hundreds of locations in Japan which have been contaminated with radioactive cesium after the accident at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 2011; a good agreement was observed.