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Breier, C. F., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, USA, cbreier@whoi.edu
Henderson, P. B., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, USA, phenderson@whoi.edu
Pike, S. M., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, USA, spike@whoi.edu
Rypina, I. I., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, USA, irypina@whoi.edu
Charette, M. A., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, USA, mcharette@whoi.edu
Buesseler, K. O., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, USA, kbuesseler@whoi.edu
Jayne, S. R., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, USA, sjayne@whoi.edu

RESOLVING FALLOUT VERSUS RUNOFF SOURCES OF FUKUSHIMA RADIOACTIVITY USING RADIUM ISOTOPES

Radium isotopes derive from sediments within groundwater aquifers or coastal margins, thus they are useful in tracing the pathway of water masses originating from the coast. Here we present the results of radium and cesium isotope and ocean drifter data collected along the Japanese coast and within the Kuroshio Current in June of 2011. The objective of this research is to identify the pathway and flux of radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors to the ocean. Early data indicate that short-lived Ra-223 and Ra-224 were elevated at several locations where Fukishima-derived cesium concentrations were highest. This implies a coastal source for Cs from direct discharges to the ocean, rather than an atmospheric fallout pathway at these locations and times. We use drifter data in conjunction with short and long-lived (Ra-226 and Ra-228) radium isotopes to estimate the approximate age, source and transit time of the water masses that contained the highest cesium levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study to use naturally occurring radium isotopes to study the pathway and source of nuclear materials in the environment.

Poster presentation

Session #:088
Date: 2/21/2012
Time: 17:00 - 18:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall

Presentation is given by student: No

PosterID: B1011