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Transport of Strontium-90 Towards the Equator at Mid-depths in the Atlantic Ocean

Naturevolume 212pages383384 (1966) | Download Citation



STUDIES in physical oceanography, both by observation (as summarized by Defant1) and by theory (as summarized by Stommel2), have led to the development of the concept of relatively rapidly flowing currents transporting considerable masses of water at intermediate depths northward or southward to and across the equator in the Atlantic Ocean. Measurement in these current systems of the changes in concentration of strontium-90 distributed by fall-out appears to offer an independent approach to the assessment of these circulations. Conversely, substantial agreement between observed patterns of strontium-90 distribution, and details of those predicted on physical oceanographic grounds, may be taken as evidence supporting the accuracy of the radioisotope analyses. The radiochemical and geochemical aspects of strontium-90 analyses have been discussed elsewhere3–8.

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  1. 1

    Defant, A., Physical Oceanography, 1 (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1961).

  2. 2

    Stommel, H., The Gulf Stream (Univ. Cal. Press, Berkeley, Cal., 1958).

  3. 3

    Bowen, V. T., and Sugihara, T. T., Nature, 186, 71 (1960).

  4. 4

    Bowen, V. T., and Sugihara, T. T., in Radioecology, 135 (Reinhold, New York, 1963).

  5. 5

    Bowen, V. T., and Sugihara, T. T., Arctic, 17, 198 (1964).

  6. 6

    Bowen, V. T., and Sugihara, T. T., J. Mar. Res., 23, 123 (1965).

  7. 7

    Rocco, G. G., and Broecker, W. S., J. Geophys. Res., 68, 4501 (1963).

  8. 8

    Miyake, Y., Saruhashi, K., Katsuragi, Y., and Kanazawa, T., Papers Meteorology and Geophysics, Tokyo, 12, 85 (1961); J. Radiat. Res.(Japan), 3, 141 (1962).

  9. 9

    Wüst, G., Geologische Rundschau, 47, 187 (1958).

  10. 10

    National Radiation Laboratory, Dept. Health, Christchurch, New Zealand, Report No. NRL-F 16, Fall-out in New Zealand. Reprinted in Hardy, jun., E. P., and Rivera, J. (eds.), U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Health and Safety Laboratory, Report HASL-164, 223 (1965).

  11. 11

    Popov, N. I., Evaluation of the Total Quantity of Strontium-90 in the World Ocean (State Committee on the Uses of Atomic Energy U.S.S.R., Moscow, 1965. Translation distributed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Health and Safety Laboratory, New York, 1966).

  12. 12

    Folsom, T. R. (personal communication).

  13. 13

    Broecker, W. S., Bonebakker, E., and Rocco, G. G., J. Geophys. Res., 71, 1999 (1966).

  14. 14

    Noshkin, V. E., and Sutton, D. C., in Hardy, jun., E. P., and Rivera, J. (eds.), U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Health and Safety Laboratory Report HASL-171, 389 (1966).

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  1. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

  2. Department of Chemistry, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts



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