Vertical Eddy Diffusion in Deep Water


THE equilibrium of the uranium series in sea water is interrupted by the removal of ionium (thorium-230)1. The efficiency of the removal seems, according to investigations by Koczy, Picciotto, Poulaert and Wilgain2, to be higher than 98 per cent. This means that the ionium in solution is almost completely precipitated, and the radium content of sea water must be renewed from radium produced in the sea floor by the decay of precipitated ionium. The amount of radium supplied to the ocean by river water seems to be only a few per cent of that necessary to keep the radium content of sea water at its average value of 8 × 10−17 gm. per ml. The radium is transported by currents and eddies in the deep water and is moved upwards by eddy-diffusion. The distribution of the radium in the deep water should, therefore, enable the eddy diffusion to be estimated.

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  1. 1

    Pettersson, H., Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math. Naturwiss. Klasse, 127 (1937).

  2. 2

    Koczy, F. F., Picciotto, E., Poulaert, J., and Wilgain, S., Geochim. et Astrochim. Acta (in the press).

  3. 3

    Petterssen, H., Deep-Sea Res., supp. to 3, 373 (1955).

  4. 4

    Wüst, G., Deep-Sea Res., supp. to 3 (1955).

  5. 5

    Koczy, F. F., Deep-Sea Res., 3, 93 (1956).

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