Letter | Published:

Tritium in the deep North Atlantic Ocean

Nature volume 286, pages 877880 (28 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

A distinct core of tritium (from nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere) marks the southward flowing jet of the deep western boundary current of the North Atlantic circulation at 30 °N latitude. The concentrations, of the order of 0.5–1.0 TU (1 tritium unit = 1 3H atom per 10 8H atoms), indicate a roughly 10-fold dilution of source waters in the far north. This thin jet, 50 km in width, carries water into subtropical regions which, until recently, were free of anthropogenic tritium. It underlies the more extensive distributions of tritium found in more rapidly renewed waters above the permanent thermocline.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543

    • William J. Jenkins
    •  & Peter B. Rhines

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286877a0

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