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Jayne, S. R., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA, sjayne@whoi.edu
Rypina, I. I., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA, irypina@whoi.edu
Douglass, E. M., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA, edouglass@whoi.edu
Buesseler, K. O., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA, kbuesseler@whoi.edu
Jacobs, G. A., Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS, USA, gregg.jacobs@nrlssc.navy.mil
Coelho, E. F., Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS, USA, emanuel.coelho.ctr.po@nrlssc.navy.mil
Rowley, C. D., Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS, USA, clark.rowley@nrl.navy.mil
Peggion, G. ., Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS, USA, germana.peggion.ctr@nrlssc.navy.mil

TRACING THE CIRCULATION AROUND FUKUSHIMA

Following the release of radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear power plants, we undertook a cruise to sample the ocean waters off the eastern coast of Japan. As part of this effort, 24 surface drifters were deployed and subsequently tracked. The trajectories of these drifters indicate that much of the contaminated water was being pulled away from the coast on the northern side of Kuroshio Extension. However, some of the drifters stayed in the coastal region suggesting that some contaminated water may recirculate in this area before being washed off-shore. The absence of drifter crossings across the Kuroshio Extension core suggests that it inhibits the southward spreading of contaminated water, at least over the western Pacific ocean. Measurements of different radioactive contaminants seem to agree with our interpretation based on drifters. Using the drifter trajectories, we test and validate methods to extend the tracking back to the initial releases and into the future to track the fate of the contamination.

Session #:088
Date: 2/21/2012
Time: 11:45
Location: Ballroom E

Presentation is given by student: No