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Title: Excess bottom radon 222 distribution in deep ocean passages

Abstract

Radon 222 and STD profiles were obtained as part of the Geosecs program in the Vema Channel in the southwest Atlantic Ocean and in the Samoan, Clarion, and Wake Island passages in the Pacific Ocean. The standing crop of excess radon 222 is higher in the passages than at other nearby locations. The most likely explanation for this is that there is a high flux of radon 222 from the floor of the passages. Since much of the floor is covered with manganese nodules and encrustations, the high flux of radon 222 may be attributable to the high concentrations of radium 226 in the outer few millimeters of such deposits. Laboratory measurements of radon 222 emissivity from maganese encrustations obtained in Vema Channel support this hypothesis. The excess radon 222 in the Vema Channel and Wake Island Passage is found in substantial quantities at heights above bottom greatly exceeding the heights at which excess radon 222 is found in nonpassage areas. The horizontal diffusion of radon emanating from the walls of the passages is unlikely to be the cause of the observed concentrations because the ratio of wall surface area to water volume is very low. The profiles must thereforemore » be a result of exceptionally high apparent vertical mixing in the passages. Further work is needed to determine the nature of this apparent vertical mixing. The excess radon 222 and STD data in all four passages have been fit with an empirical model in which it is assumed that the bouyancy flux is constant with distance above bottom. The fits are very good and yield apparent buoyancy fluxes that are between 1 and 3 orders of magnitude greater than those obtained at nearby stations outside the passages for three of the four passages.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and the Department of Geological Sciences, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964
OSTI Identifier:
6799470
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
J. Geophys. Res.; (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 83:C10
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ATLANTIC OCEAN; RADON 222; PACIFIC OCEAN; DIFFUSION; OCEANOGRAPHY; RADIUM 226; ALKALINE EARTH ISOTOPES; ALPHA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; DAYS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; EVEN-EVEN NUCLEI; HEAVY NUCLEI; ISOTOPES; NUCLEI; RADIOISOTOPES; RADIUM ISOTOPES; RADON ISOTOPES; SEAS; SURFACE WATERS; YEARS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; 580500* - Oceanography- (1980-1989); 520300 - Environment, Aquatic- Radioactive Materials Monitoring & Transport- (1989)

Citation Formats

Sarmiento, J L, Broecker, W S, and Biscaye, P E. Excess bottom radon 222 distribution in deep ocean passages. United States: N. p., 1978. Web. doi:10.1029/JC083iC10p05068.
Sarmiento, J L, Broecker, W S, & Biscaye, P E. Excess bottom radon 222 distribution in deep ocean passages. United States. doi:10.1029/JC083iC10p05068.
Sarmiento, J L, Broecker, W S, and Biscaye, P E. Fri . "Excess bottom radon 222 distribution in deep ocean passages". United States. doi:10.1029/JC083iC10p05068.
@article{osti_6799470,
title = {Excess bottom radon 222 distribution in deep ocean passages},
author = {Sarmiento, J L and Broecker, W S and Biscaye, P E},
abstractNote = {Radon 222 and STD profiles were obtained as part of the Geosecs program in the Vema Channel in the southwest Atlantic Ocean and in the Samoan, Clarion, and Wake Island passages in the Pacific Ocean. The standing crop of excess radon 222 is higher in the passages than at other nearby locations. The most likely explanation for this is that there is a high flux of radon 222 from the floor of the passages. Since much of the floor is covered with manganese nodules and encrustations, the high flux of radon 222 may be attributable to the high concentrations of radium 226 in the outer few millimeters of such deposits. Laboratory measurements of radon 222 emissivity from maganese encrustations obtained in Vema Channel support this hypothesis. The excess radon 222 in the Vema Channel and Wake Island Passage is found in substantial quantities at heights above bottom greatly exceeding the heights at which excess radon 222 is found in nonpassage areas. The horizontal diffusion of radon emanating from the walls of the passages is unlikely to be the cause of the observed concentrations because the ratio of wall surface area to water volume is very low. The profiles must therefore be a result of exceptionally high apparent vertical mixing in the passages. Further work is needed to determine the nature of this apparent vertical mixing. The excess radon 222 and STD data in all four passages have been fit with an empirical model in which it is assumed that the bouyancy flux is constant with distance above bottom. The fits are very good and yield apparent buoyancy fluxes that are between 1 and 3 orders of magnitude greater than those obtained at nearby stations outside the passages for three of the four passages.},
doi = {10.1029/JC083iC10p05068},
journal = {J. Geophys. Res.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 83:C10,
place = {United States},
year = {1978},
month = {10}
}