Transport of radionuclides by sea-ice and dense-water formed in western Kara Sea flaw leads

Dethleff, Dirk, Nies, H., Harms, I. H. and Karcher, M. J. (2000) Transport of radionuclides by sea-ice and dense-water formed in western Kara Sea flaw leads Journal of Marine Systems, 24 . pp. 233-248. DOI 10.1016/S0924-7963(99)00088-3.

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A transport assessment of particle-bound and dissolved artificial radionuclides (137Cs and 239,240Pu) by sea-ice and dense-water formed in western Kara Sea flaw leads close to the Novaya Zemlya dumping sites is presented in this study. We both performed a “best estimate” based on available data, and a “maximum assessment” relying on simulated constant releases of 1 TBq 137Cs and 239,240Pu from individual dumping bays. The estimates are based on a combination of (i) the content of particulate matter in sea-ice; (ii) analytical data and numerical simulations of radionuclide concentrations in shelf surface deposits, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and the dissolved phase; and (iii) estimates of lead-ice and dense-water formation rates as well as modeling results of local ice drift pathways. In the “best estimate” case, 2.90 GBq 137Cs and 0.51 GBq 239,240Pu attached to sea-ice sediments can be exported from the lead areas toward the central Arctic basin. The radionuclide burden of the annually formed dense lead water in the “best estimate” amounts to 4.68 TBq 137Cs and 0.014 TBq 239,240Pu. In the “maximum assessment”, potential export-rates of ice-particle bound 137Cs and 239,240Pu toward the central Arctic would amount to 0.64 and 0.16 TBq, respectively. As much as ≈900 TBq 137Cs and ≈6.75 TBq 239,240Pu could be annually taken up by 34.75 dense-water rejected in the lead area. Assuming the (unlikely) instantaneous release of the total 137Cs and 239,240Pu inventories (≈1 PBq and 10 TBq, respectively) from the Novaya Zemlya dumping sites into the dissolved phase, the dense lead water locally formed during one winter season could take up ≈90% of the Cs and ≈68% of the Pu released.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Kara Sea; flaw leads; ice sediments; dense-water; radionuclide transport; ablation area contamination
Research affiliation: AWI
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0924-7963(99)00088-3
ISSN: 0924-7963
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 13:39
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 12:59

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