RAPID: Anthropogenic Radionuclides in the Atlantic Ocean 4 Decades after GEOSECS

Lead PI: Dr. Timothy Kenna

Unit Affiliation: Geochemistry, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

December 2009 - August 2013
Atlantic Ocean
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The project will determine the total concentration of the anthropogenic radionuclides 239Pu, 240Pu, 237Np, and 137Cs from various Atlantic GEOTRACES cruises. This will allow resolving different sources of radioactive contamination, address processes such as advection, sources, and sinks, as well as processes related to scavenging and particle dynamics across a range of contrasting regions.

OUTCOMES: Found that: fallout nuclides measured on the same sample provide a powerful tool to study scavenging; water column inventories of 137Cs have increased and are higher than in soil, while Pu is variable and similar to soil; it is likely that the 137Cu input is from European fuel reprocessing facilities.


National Science Foundation (NSF)




Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, IFM-GEOMAR, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Oxford University, Alfred Wegener Institute Foundation for Polar and Marine Research




geotraces geosecs ocean and climate physics anthropogenic radionuclides particle dynamics tracers