GEOTRACES Pacific section: Dissolved and particulate concentrations of selected anthropogenic radionuclides along the U.S. GEOTRACES Peru-Tahiti zonal section

Lead PI: Dr. Timothy Kenna

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

January 2013 - September 2018
Pacific Ocean
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: In this project, a research team at the Lamont-Dougherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University will measure water column concentrations of 239Pu, 240Pu, 237Np, and 137Cs in dissolved and particulate phases along the 2013 US GEOTRACES Pacific zonal section from Peru to Tahiti. For much of the study region, these will be baseline vertical profiles of these radionuclides; that is, very few (if any) data on their distribution are currently available. These same anthropogenic radionuclides will also be measured in surface sediments at a few selected sites. Where possible, the team will compare the 2013 data to measurements made in 1972-1973, thus obtaining a four-decade perspective on processes controlling the distribution and fate of these substances.

This project will feature international collaboration with other marine radiochemists. It will also include agressive educational outreach to undergraduate and high school students to advance public understanding of environmental radioactivity.


National Science Foundation (NSF)





Villa-Alfageme, M., Chamizo, E., Kenna, T.C., López-Lora, M., Casacuberta, N., Chang, C., Masqué, P., Christl, M. "Distribution of 236U in the U.S. GEOTRACES Eastern Pacific Zonal Transect and its use as a water mass tracer," Chemical Geology, v.517, 2019, p. 44. doi:

ReinerSchlitzer, Robert F.Anderson, Elena MasferrerDodas, and 233 others. "The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2017," Chemical Geology, v.493, 2018, p. 210. doi:


ocean and climate physics isotopes measurements us geotraces support plutonium caesium (cs) neptunium