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J Environ Radioact. 2009 May;100(5):375-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2009.01.003.

Sources and pathways of 90Sr in the North Atlantic-Arctic region: present day and global warming.

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Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bergen, Norway.


The spatial and temporal distributions of the anthropogenic radionuclides (137)Cs and (90)Sr, originating from nuclear bomb testing, the Sellafield reprocessing plant in the Irish Sea (UK), and from the Ob and Yenisey river discharges to the Arctic Ocean, have been simulated using the global version of the Miami Isopycnic Coordinate Ocean Model (MICOM). The physical model is forced with daily atmospheric re-analysis fields for the period of 1948-1999. Comparison of the temporal evolution of the observed and the simulated concentrations of (90)Sr has been performed in the Kara Sea. The relative contributions of the different sources on the temporal and spatial distributions of the surface (90)Sr are quantified over the simulated period. It follows that the Ob river discharge dominated the surface (90)Sr over most of the Arctic Ocean and along the eastern and western coasts of Greenland before 1960. During the period of 1980-1990, the atmospheric fallout and the Ob river discharge were equally important for the (90)Sr distribution in the Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, an attempt has been made to explore the possible dispersion of accidental released (90)Sr from the Ob and Yenisey rivers under a global warming scenario (2 x CO(2)). The difference between the present-day and the global warming scenario runs indicates that more of the released (90)Sr from the Ob and Yenisey rivers is confined to the Arctic Ocean in the global warming run, particularly in the near coastal, non-European part of the Arctic Ocean.

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